New French Three Strikes Law: Judges Will Get Five Minutes To Rule

from the speed-convicting dept

You’ve heard of speed dating, right? The system whereby single people meet other singles of the appropriate sex for a grand total of five minutes before moving on to someone else? It appears that Nicolas’ Sarkozy’s path to getting a “three strikes and you’re off the internet” law passed in France involves something similar. As you may recall, Sarkozy’s original law to force ISPs to kick file sharers off the internet for three accusations (not convictions) of copyright infringement was gutted as unconstitutional. The big concern was that a judge needed to be included in the process. But, Sarkozy — who is married to a pop singer (bias?) — has insisted this is a matter that needs to be addressed.

Michael Scott alerts us to the news that a new proposal has been put forth in France, and to deal with the whole “judge must decide” issue, it creates a special “fast track” for such cases, whereby a judge would be given a grand total of five minutes to decide such cases. Yes, you see, free society (which Sarkozy insists he’s defending) apparently doesn’t involve giving a judge ample time to consider whether or not it makes sense to completely cut someone off from the internet because they may have wanted to listen to a certain song without properly clearing the rights. Oh, did we mention that Sarkozy himself was recently caught violating copyrights? Would he have let a judge decide that case in just five minutes?

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Comments on “New French Three Strikes Law: Judges Will Get Five Minutes To Rule”

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Anonymous Coward says:

This isn't even good PR...

Being a hard-line politician against “piracy” might have been good for a few percentage points in the polls, but I can’t imagine how “5 minute trials” could ever be viewed in a positive light.

What’s more, I highly doubt that the defendants in the legal proceedings would even be required to appear, given how these policies tend to be executed.

dennis parrott says:

sounds like someone who is also wed to "Big Euro"

While it seems clear that his wife may be biasing his judgement somewhat to the Big Content side of this argument, I would like to add that the whole 5 minutes to decide part of the process is in keeping with how the European Parliament is run. France, being a huge proponent of Big Government for Europe as part of the self-proclaimed UK-France-Germany axis around which the EU turns, would want nothing less than what their model for the EU Parliament uses: ram-rod legislation through with 5 minutes or less to debate and cast votes…

Why should a lousy judge get more time than a legislator?

(now if only I could pry my tongue out of my cheek…)

Anonymous Coward says:

I actually want to see this law passed and enforced. It would be fun to jump on open wi-fi connections at restaurants, businesses, and private residences to download infringing content. Have just one major politico get their internet access cutoff because someone ‘borrowed’ their wi-fi and you will see the politicians running for cover.

Nelson Cruz (profile) says:

I wonder what the constitutional council will say

France’s contitutional council didn’t just demand that a judge decide these cases, but also said that presumption of innocence and due process must be respected. So the accused must be proven guilty and given an opportunity to defend themselves.

How does having a judge decide in 5 minutes address that?? It’s exactly like the previous system, only with a judge behind the desk instead of a bureaucrat!

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