France passes anti-piracy law

A bill requiring French ISPs to disconnect people who are caught downloading or sharing illegal content three times has been given approval by Senate. The controversial legislation will mean that illegal file-sharers will receive a warning through email first, then through a letter, and on the third offence, will face disconnection, according to an article by TorrentFreak.

The bill attempts to reduce online piracy by deterring users from illegally file-sharing, and was supported by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. Users who are disconnected may have to continue paying for their internet for the duration that they are disconnected, which can be up to a year.

The bill has faced a lot of heat from groups concerned that the new system will wrongly punish people, particularly if their computers are hijacked by hackers or malware. According to an article by the BBC, the legislation is "dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky for us citizens", according to socialist parliamentarian Patrick Bloche.

However, John Kennedy, chairman of the IFPI, stated that the bill was "an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France". The law was passed by Senate with 189 votes for, and 14 against.

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