By Scott Hervey

Wired reports that the French judiciary has been issuing lenient sentences and penalties to individuals involved in criminal proceedings involving illegal file trading.#160 The president of the French magistrate union, Judge Dominique Barella, has openly taken the position that the harsh criminal penalties imposed under French copyright law are inappropriate under the circumstances.#160 Wired reports#160 the Barella has insisted that a more appropriate policy needs to be adopted in France and in Europe that protects what he says are mostly young people of the MP3 generation who are weak targets against the machinations of the entertainment industry’s legal agenda.

The French entertainment industry is not taking Barella’s position lightly.#160 In a letter to the French Minister of Justice, representatives of France’s entertainment, film, music associations stated “[w]e are surprised and shocked that the president of the magistrates union, given the level of influence he has on his colleagues, can publish in the press a call to not criminally sanction criminal acts, which contradicts the intentions of government bodies.”

Barella defends his position, stating that the government’s resources would be better spent focusing on large scale, international counterfeiting rings instead of targeting young Parisians who just want fill their ipod.