France poses three strikes rule on file-sharing

France has made moves to ban illegal downloaders from using the internet for a year with the introduction of a new set of copyright laws, which critics are already slamming, because in part it implies broadband users could suffer if neighbours and others access their wireless connection to exchange files.
Anyone in France who persists in illicit downloading of music or films will be barred from broadband access under the law, though they will be given two warnings first..
“There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone,” President Sarkozy told the Cabinet, as it endorsed the scheme, which comes into effect in January.
The new law will be enforced by a new state agency, HADOPI (High authority
for copyright protection and dissemination of works on the internet).
Oppoenents include the state data protection agency, consumer and civil
liberties groups and the European Parliament.
In 2006, French Internet subscribers downloaded one billion pirated copies of music albums, films and other cultural products. Violation of copyright laws through illicit downloading is also punishable in France by a fine of up to 300,000 euros and three years in jail.
While civil liberties proponents oppose the law, the usual suspects – mainly the music and film industries – have voiced their support.
Opposing the measures, consumer group UFC-Que Choisir has dubbed the bill a “monstrosity designed by music promoters whose sole interests it serves.”
Last month, a European parliament report came out against such anti-piracy measures, saying that “criminalizing consumers who are not seeking to profit from the acts is not the solution to combating Internet piracy.”

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