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France rebuffs 3-strike anti-piracy law

updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu April 9, 2009

France Rebuffs Piracy Law

France's National Assembly on Thursday voted down a proposed law that would have required Internet providers cut off subscribers after three detected instances of pirating music or videos. The decision was made through an unusual 21-15 vote after the majority of the Assembly's 577 representatives avoided the session. The French administration hasn't commented on the rejection other than to say a modified version is due within a few weeks.

The dismissal is a surprise turnaround for the law, which had largely seen cooperation between the Assembly and the Senate in creating and approving individual sections of the bill. It's believed that public resistance to the measure pressed Assembly members to either oppose the bill or abstain from the vote. Critics argue that this and other three-strike laws have been written at the request of major music labels seeking government protection for their existing business models.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Culture Minister Christine Albanel have been the strongest proponents of the law.

Record label organizations such as the IFPI and RIAA have also tried to push similar laws in other countries, including Ireland and the US, with varying degrees of success. In the US, there has been relatively little progress due both to larger economic concerns as well as fears such a law violates the principle of safe harbor, which exempts communications firms from being responsible for content others send through their networks.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Hoopla! Hoopla!

    Let's hear it for the French! When a difficult decision has to be made, they don't show up!

    Either that, or they had worked for two hours before this vote, so they qualified for 2 weeks of vacation.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999


    Good for them

    Good for them for rejecting this awful legislation. Here's hoping they do the same in a few weeks with the revised version.

    No private company should have the right to simply accuse someone three times and have them denied access to the internet, with no possibility of defending yourself in court. These days, being denied access to the internet is a severe handicap in this connected world we live in. Unfettered internet access should be a basic right, as it has become the foundation of our communication and education.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: good for them

    Um, they didn't reject it. Only a small minority rejected it, and it will be coming back in a few weeks.

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