France close to 3 strike piracy law

Plans by the French government to require Internet service providers to throw persistent pirates off the Internet are now closer to becoming law.

The French Senate voted 297 to 15 in favour of the law, which now goes to the French National Assembly for final approval.

The law, first suggested by Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2007, requires that ISPs monitor web traffic of their customers. Those detected to be downloading copyrighted material illegally would be sent up to two warning letters, before having their internet connection cut off if they persisted to download illegally.

An amendment suggested by Bruno Retailleau of the right-wing MPF party, which proposed giving customers fines, rather than cutting them off, was rejected by French politicians prior to the Senate vote. Mr Retailleau said that the Internet has become an "essential commodity".

Retailleau is not alone. In April 2008, the European Union rejected calls for such a law to be imposed across Europe, saying that throwing people offline conflicted with "civil liberties and human rights".

France is not the only country taking measures to tackle piracy. Sweden has proposed a law that would allow copyright owners to request the personal details of anyone they suspect of copyright infringement from their ISP. Sweden is reportedly going to enact the law in April 2009.

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18 Comments

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KavazovAngel said,
So glad we are not in the EU (This will very soon become an EU law)

Where did you hear that??? Pure BS. France is going against most EU states, which want to declare internet access an essential service; therefore making it illegal to cut someone off from internet access.

Islander said,
Afortunately there are ways to hide whatever you are downloading via p2p.

Indeed. Anonymous networks like I2P make it near impossible to find who is uploading or downloading what.

And then there's the huge amount of 'regular' P2P with encryption. Oh, and don't forget to distinguish the illegal P2P from the legal P2P!

Sounds like a Mission Impossible.

Well, there's a surprise: France deciding what's best for the EU. Just watch this local law become more popular across member states and then it will become EU law.

mrbester said,
Well, there's a surprise: France deciding what's best for the EU. Just watch this local law become more popular across member states and then it will become EU law.

Nope, EU is going towards declaring internet access an essential service, so it will make this law illegal sooner or later.

This is a little stupid... like it says i completely agree on how you should be fined if anything, not cut off completely... that's stupid.

Would it be a bit like a criminal record? Would you be able to connect to any other ISP?

It doesn't make sense when the EU is soon to mandate that internet access be an essential service (like all services that reach 50% usage). To then cut it off for people that have breached copyright, especially when reports have said that 75% of internet users have done so, seems absurd. It would effectively give private companies (here media groups) control over who has access to the internet.

Also, it basically means kids downloading tracks can get access to the internet revoked for parents.