French to legalise music oriented P2P file sharing?

The French love to do things differently from the rest of the world. This is probably one of the reasons why there is a love-hate relationship between the British and French.

The rest of the world, however, may soon want to emigrate to France as they could be soon the only country in the western world to legalise peer-to-peer downloading.

The French lower house of Parliament voted that way with the "oui" getting two more votes than the "non". Actually, most of the MPs were on holiday, which might explain why the vote was passed.

For a small fee, around £40 per year, one would be able to download songs, although uploading would still remain prohibited. Of course, video and software sharing would still be illegal but it would be a fundamental first step in what seems the right direction.

The creation of this digital pool would, once and for all, solve a number of problems, particularly, the payment of rights to the right owners and song writers. Whether the music moguls will accept this without a fight remains to be seen.

But Britons need not panic about missing out. If you would like to get your MP3 songs on the cheap without legal strings attached or any of those Digital Right Management schemes, there's a nice little website called Wippit that gives you up to 60,000 songs to download for only £50 a year- the price of five albums.

There are no strings attached and, unlike other services, you can keep the songs you downloaded for life.