France Strikes Out: Approves Cutting People Off The Internet

from the this-will-end-badly dept

It was quite a surprise when French politicians rejected a “three strikes” (or, as Bill Patry calls it: “the digital guillotine”) law that would have ISPs disconnect file sharers from the internet on three accusations (not convictions). However, seeing as French president Nicolas Sarkozy was a huge supporter of this idea (despite the fact that he had no problems infringing copyrights himself), you knew it would come back. And, indeed, it’s back. France’s National Assembly has now approved a three strikes law by a vote of 296 to 233. It’s expected that the upper house of the French Parliament will approve it tomorrow.

Of course, there are significant questions about the legality of the law. Considering that the EU just said that such a three strikes policy is not allowed, you have to imagine that we haven’t heard the last about whether or not this new law is considered legitimate.

Still, the thing that is most amusing about this is how supporters of such three strikes rules somehow seem to think that this will suddenly make people buy again. There’s no evidence that this is true, whatsoever. But the main backer of this bill in France claims that this is:

“an important step toward preserving cultural diversity and the industries threatened by piracy.”

How? By kicking fans of the work offline? The most telling part of this statement is that it’s about preserving the industries “threatened” by piracy, not the actual creators of content. That’s because this is a law to protect legacy industries, not content creators.

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Comments on “France Strikes Out: Approves Cutting People Off The Internet”

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25 Comments
R. Miles says:

This law will backfire.

I can imagine the number of open WiFi networks in France in which people aren’t educated enough to lock their signals.

These accusation-based removals will anger innocent people, especially establishments who give it away to consumers as part of their business model.

Next up: The United States, provided we get past capping bandwidth, music taxes, increased costs of digital goods, consumer restriction of purchased goods, and industries trying to maintain control of an infinite market.

Trstin (profile) says:

Hoping for failure

Let’s just hope that this fails in a spectacular way so that other countries will be reluctant to follow suit. Perhaps the EU will slap them down like the dirty yellowbellies they are. Or perhaps the French ISP’s will get a spine and refuse to participate.

Regardless, the upcoming generations of voters will not stand for these kinds of anti-technology laws. It is infuriating to think about how little the French politicians who voted for the law understand about technology.

robin (profile) says:

maybe not so bad

as mike pointed out, this faces a very confusing future vis-a-vis the european parliament.

in their own parliament, this is so divisive that the rarest of events occured (link in french)

http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2009/05/12/les-deputes-adoptent-la-loi-hadopi_1192219_651865.html#ens_id=1162478

“neither the majority nor the opposition voted in unison”, which for french politics is not at all the normal course of events.

on a brighter note, it’s not entirely a country of dunderheads (again in french):

http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2009/05/11/la-condamnation-de-dailymotion-pour-contrefacon-annulee-en-appel_1191336_0.html

the site dailymotion, having been sued and lost regarding the presence of user generated content (a.k.a. “unauthorized” uploading), saw it’s conviction overturned by a court of appeals, echoing the language of safe harbors and adherence to takedown procedures we know here.

VanCardboardbox says:

Totally consistent

What’s the problem? This is totally consistent with other French laws that prevent you from owning a phone if you ever used one in the commissioning of a crime, or ban you from using your hands and feet if you used them to steal from a shop, or to cut off your access to food if you ever used it to provide yourself with the energy necessary to run from the police. What reasonable person would question any of this?

It will totally work, too. Once your ISP has cancelled your account there is absolutely no way you could ever access the internet. Another problem completely solved.

Jason says:

Re: Three Strikes...

Wow, thanks for revealing your obscene level of stupidity. You say you’re against file sharing; well, what the hell did you think the internet was? Or did you only mean P2P file sharing, which is inherently evil by way of insidious code being written into it so as to make it faster and more efficient.

But all kidding aside, please feel free to connect here anytime. Just don’t actually exchange any information, thank you.

Peggy Marton (profile) says:

When will we learn

When will we learn that the consumer is the one to be protected. Just like save pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. We need to preserve our consumers and make sure they are capable of consuming. We have no industries unless we have consumers. If an industry has to be protected it is already non responsive and incapable of resusitating. If an industry is responsive to consumers then it will have adjusted its product to meet the consumers needs. We are just hurting ourselves by supporting these bloated parisitic companies that have become frozen in the past. Break them up. Smaller companies are more capable of changing quickly and moving into the future with the needs of society. These big companies hurt too many people when they fail. We need to limit the size they can achieve to protect the consumer.

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