EU Parliament Pressured By France, Removes Clause That Bans Kicking People Off The Internet

from the ah,-regulatory-capture-at-work dept

With France passing its new law to kick accused file sharers off the internet based on accusations rather than due process, you may wonder how that could possibly square with the EU Parliament's position from earlier this year that no one should be kicked off the internet without due process, and should only be allowed in "exceptional circumstances." Well, it looks like the lobbyists and the French gov't put enough pressure on the EU Parliament that it's now ditched that clause, even though 88% of Parliament agreed to it the first time around. Forget gov't for the people, the EU Parliament has shown that it's now the gov't for an entertainment industry that doesn't want to innovate. Sad. In the meantime, we're back to asking the basic question that no one in the industry ever answers: how will kicking fans of your content offline make them want to buy anything? It may get some to stop file sharing, but it won't make them buy. It seems the industry has become so confused that it actually thinks stopping file sharing is more important than making money.

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  1. icon
    Robert Ring (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Man, the more I read about this crap, the gladder I am that I don't live over there. America has gotten pretty bad about some things lately, but not THIS bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Alex (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    So far the only part fo European Parliament that has capitulated is the team that was negotiating with the European Council. The package still has to be voted on in plenary. It is unusual for the European Parliament to vote something down in 3rd Reading, but it has happened. It ain't over until the fat lady sings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 3:48pm


    As a European I'm not so worried. Sure this sucks and it really is frightening to see lobbyists moving into European politics but we do have Country laws and the European convention on human rights which should provide the enough checks and balances to over rule this nonsense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    william (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    your cheques and bank balances are no match for lobbyists cheques and bank balances.

    Seriously, it's all good and dandy we have ways to keep government in line, but no one really have enough money or time to fight the lobbyists in court. That's why once they set up a "law" it's basically game over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re:

    but we do have Country laws

    Like the one in France, eh? Maybe you should read the story.

    the European convention on human rights which should provide the enough checks and balances to over rule this nonsense.

    Did you read anything before you started blathering? Here's what's being dropped:

    Amendment 138 read: "Any such measures liable to restrict those fundamental rights or freedoms may only be taken in exceptional circumstances...and shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.. including effective judicial protection and due process."

    So what's being dropped IS the Human Rights protection in regards to this issue. Apparently Human Rights are now optional in the EU and can be dropped when they're inconvenient. Europeans must be so proud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    cc, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    Sad news indeed. Unlike AC#3 above, as a European I feel alarmed and very much appalled by such developments. I'm afraid that basic human rights can be whisked away one by one while we stand there unable to do anything. Even our perceived illusion of open society may be fading away as we speak -- there is no question that Karl Popper and friends are spinning in their graves.

    I hate to say this, but could the middle ages be coming back? Banning people's access to the internet is EXACTLY like banning books: information is made artificially scarce to keep some status quo that favors the few in power.

    No doubt about it, we HAVE achieved a lot since the renaissance, like the Greeks and Romans did 2500 years before us, but it all seems to be going downhill again; history is repeating itself. Has civilization really reached another saturation point? I'm actually visualizing Nero lying on a couch eating grapes while the city is burning around him...

    Anyways, I apologize for the pessimistic views in this comment. I do fear that our politicians are making a big mistake by even contemplating these laws and are endangering the very foundations that modern society was built on by our forefathers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    1DandyTroll, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 5:37pm

    Actually, another entity within the commission says that disconnecting is not something the EU legislative body will condone, so is a no go due, if for nothing else due to other directives, and legislations.

    And besides, the french government never was pro european, according to todays EU standards, and who knows maybe it's because of the nazi bull shit and the stokholm syndrome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    InquiringMindswantToKnow, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    The list

    I want to see the list of those who are exempt from being kicked off. We already know one name on that list. Hopefully someone will post it on wikileaks

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    I'm confused. I thought France was supposed to do all the surrendering?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    bikey, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 4:05am


    Mr. Ring, Sorry to discourage you but word has it that three-strikes is front and center of the highly secret ACTA. Do you honestly think the US cares more about consumers than the Europeans? Neither give a tinkers whatever, but as long as we cling to 'well at least america...' we're doomed. We are all in this together. And it's not nice, no matter where you are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Vincent Clement, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Meanwhile a person with three DUI convictions may be able to drive a vehicle in as little as three years. But if you are accused of downloading copyrighted material three times, you (and your household) lose the internet for life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Franssu, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 7:20am


    Yes, and that's perfecly normal. IP is more important than your freedom. IP is more important then your so-called rights. IP is more important than life itself !
    And yes, keeping those freeloaders out of the intertubes is definitely more important than making money. Giving money to IP lawyers is more important than making money.
    What, you say you didn't vote for it ? If you live in a modern "democracy" there's a good chance you didn't vote anyway...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: I'm confused

    They are, their surrendering to RIAA-like organizations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 4:57am


    I'm willing to bet she'll be singing in French...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Yeebok (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 5:07am

    The saddest part

    Is that it's not even to stop terrorism or save the children. It's like the keeper isn't watching at all as it gets tapped over the line.

    Seriously though, this is a horrible outcome - I can see it start to become more prevalent, that other countries will pass similar laws.

    I sit here at the moment with one always-on unsecured wireless somewhere nearby, and an occasional other one - this isn't in a high rise area either. Anyone could use either of them when they're on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Dom S, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Its all over...

    living in UK (with our ties to the EU, ie being a member) and hearing this news brings sadness and anger to my heart!

    setting aside the illegality of the whole thing... the main question is... WTF?!

    i have had one disturbing thought (amongst the 'find the lobbyists and slaughter them' day-dreams)... if someone uses your connection, you get all 3 strikes and you get kicked off... the argument "well, someone else must have been on my unsecured connection" will not wash.
    we will receive a response along the lines of "well, you should have secured your network so other people cant use it". I can see this becoming the stock phrase used against us when we protest our innocence.

    to all freedom lovers out there... watch our freedom disappear along with our basic human rights and all common sense within our goverment bodies.
    the entertainment industry is taking over. brainwashing our politicians to do their own dirty work because they cant keep up with tech developments and user attitude changes. as consumers we are conditioned to do as the media and adverts tell us. however there are a hell of a lot of us out there who feel we are being abused by the system and choose to avoid TV and web ads and think for ourselves. of course, this does not conform to the rich minorities vision of a subservient world where consumers buy because they are "programmed" to and not because our individual desires lead us to want things we ACTUALLY want!

    I would say lets fight for our rights, but honestly speaking... even if we put all of our money and time together into making a stand aginst these obvious breaches of rights and freedoms. we would NEVER EVER have enough resources to compete with the finance and resources held by our opponents.

    However, lets not go down quietly! F*CK 'em, the greedy, selfish, no-good, facist, patronizing, shareholder-satisfying, government buying, freedom quashing bullies!

    oooh the rant! necessary and relieving!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    another mike (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    never work

    It may get some to stop file sharing, but it won't make them buy.
    It won't even get them to stop file sharing for long. Soon as they get a new service provider they'll be right back at it as if nothing had happened. Actually, it will be worse.
    Before, they were infringing as an un-monetized customer. Just a neutrally-aligned under-served market. After restoring connectivity, they will be stealing content out of spite. Now your potential customer base is actively subverting you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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