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Date:      Tue, 19 Jul 2011 16:03:55 +0200
From:      Damien Fleuriot <>
Subject:   Re: Tools to find "unlegal" files ( videos , music etc )
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On 7/19/11 3:49 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:
> Do you mean to suggest that an employee _cannot_ give permission to *anyone*
> (whether it is the employer, or just a friend) to look at any file that is 
> categorized as 'private' ??
> If they can give permission for 'someone' to look at a particular file,
> what prevents them from giving that someone permission to look at _every_
> such file?

French law *states* that a private file on a company computer may only
be opened either:

1/ in the employee's presence
2/ if the employee has been duly informed the file will be reviewed

Note that the employee's consent is not required.

However if the employer cannot prove the employee was informed, their
opening of the file is unlawful and subject to prosecution.

> If what is forbidden is 'inspecting by a human being', then running 
> file(1) to build a list of 'suspect' files isn't 'opening' them either.
> Nor is a -mechanical- process that checks for 'suspicious' "magic numbers".

Nobody denies this point.

What was said however is that IT staff in Europe do not have the power
to identify a file as illicit or not.

If a file is found to match an allegedly copyrighted one, who's to say
the file's owner doesn't have a legit license/right to it ?

The file might be a backup, I for one keep backups of our work software
in ISO form, and these are perfectly legit.

In fact, I actually use the ISO to install the software to other work
computers, rather than having to take the CD to each and every one of them.

This, per se, is not illegal.

What would be illegal would be using software licensed for ONE computer
on multiple computers.

>>> company computers are for "business use only", that anything on the 
>>> machines is 'work done for hire', and thus property of the company.
>> Again, jurisdictions vary widely. We here in Europe are at the farthest 
>> spectrum in terms of privacy protection of workers (students etc..) in 
>> the workplace (school etc...).
> Educational institutions here _are_ subject to somewhat differnet rules
> than corporates.
> But here, in general, private property _is_ "private property", and the 
> property owner _can_ dictate -- more-or-less *completely* -- the terms
> under which he lets 'anyone else' use _his_ property.

Privacy laws in the EU are kind of... strict...

You just can't do anything even if the files reside on a work computer.

Even when an email is received on a work mail box, if it is clearly
labeled as private you are prohibited to open them (unless, again, the
employee is present or has been informed of the act).

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