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France creates new policy in attempt to battle casual piracy

As governments try to cope with illegal file sharing and piracy concerns, a new anti-piracy body in France may throw users who are caught pirating copyrighted content off the Internet. 

The plan would work under a "three strikes and you're out" system, with Internet service providers sending two warnings before the Internet service cut.  An independent panel supervised by a court official will be responsible for creating a system to determine when and how often a warning is sent to a file sharer.

According to the chairman of the French retail chain store FNAC, Denis Olivennes, music sales at FNAC has declined due to Internet file sharing.  Olivennes believes large monetary fines and prison sentences -- current French penalties for copyright infringement -- are "totally disproportionate."  He believes a ban on Internet is a more reasonable punishment, especially for the young people in the country.  The Syndicat National de l'Edition Phonographique (SNEP), the French equivalent of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), claims music sales have plummeted 40 percent over a four-year period starting in 2002.

The deal was described as a "decisive moment for the future of a civilized Internet," according to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  "We run the risk of witnessing a genuine destruction of culture," he added.

Even though the movie and music industries applauded the idea, other politicians and consumer groups believe the initiative could end up being too restrictive.  The initiative is "very tough, potentially destructive of freedom, anti-economic and against digital history," the UFC Que Choisir consumer group announced in a statement.

As pressure mounts by official music and movie studios trying to combat piracy, governments have been weary to create initiatives to try and prevent piracy by regular users.  The French idea is better suited to combat piracy on a small scale on a user-to-user basis, rather than organized piracy rings.

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Tangible music sales are dead
By SeeManRun on 11/24/2007 12:15:34 PM , Rating: 5
The sale of physical CD's is nearly dead and is being reduced to a niche market. The music industry is getting governments to punish consumers for their inefficiencies and lack of ability to change. The movie 'Other People's Money' has an excellent speech at the end that could perfectly be used to describe the music industry today. They are near death and will die unless they change.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Flunk on 11/24/2007 12:29:06 PM , Rating: 5
With todays technology artists can bypass the record companies entirely and sell directly online. 100% of the price of a download looks a lot better than a 5% CD royalty.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Regs on 11/24/2007 3:56:32 PM , Rating: 4
Agreed. Especially when the Internet could used for a powerful marketing tool. If you're not into the wave of new aged rock music or r&b (where the singers just scream and the lyrics lack any meaning or purpose) there's not much out there that helps users find what music they like.

I'm one of those "rare" music fans that don't like what's popular. If the music is not in "in-thing" then publishers and agencies do not use any of their countless millions on making it known, but countless millions on lobbying on pirates.

Either way, I'm more worried about pirates for the PC game industry. At least games are more easily reviewed before launch and a lot more easier to judge good or bad before you buy. I see no excuse for pirating a game. "Well, I never liked Far Cry so I'll pirate it". Makes no f'ing sense to me. As for music, it's a waste of money more than half the time.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Axbattler on 11/25/2007 9:44:39 PM , Rating: 5
I'm one of those "rare" music fans that don't like what's popular.

Whatever float your boat, but I never got the "don't like what's popular" attitude. I listen to what I enjoy, irrespective whether it's played on MTV (that I don't have) 24/7 or an obscure independent artist I come across by sheer coincidence. The fact that an artist is independent does not make them good in my book, and I'd say that the opposite is also true. And what if a previously unknown artist eventually make it big?

By mikeyD95125 on 11/25/2007 11:09:24 PM , Rating: 3
With the label you get promo and a studio. Not saying you have to be on a sell out label. I know in the Bay Area Asian Man Records is a great label not looking to rob you for your talent.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By TomCorelis on 11/24/2007 4:48:07 PM , Rating: 5
And away with CD's means away with fair use. DRM for everyone!

Thank god the music companies are finally figuring out that nobody likes their DRM...

No more CD's also means no more high quality, uncompressed music. iTunes' bitrates are pathetic, and over quality speakers an iTunes song sounds so bad that my ears feel violated. Whatever happened to actual progress?! Where are my 96khz, 32-bit CDs? What happened to DVD Audio? Wait, that's right, people are too lazy to actually GO OUT and buy anything.

Give me lossless! Give me DRM-free!

Is that really so much to ask?

By Sunday Ironfoot on 11/24/2007 5:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
Agree 100%. That's why the CD is still the best format out there, there's no DRM, it's the best quality and can be recorded into any digital audio format out there (MP3, AAC, WMV etc.) and be played back on any music playback device.

CD ftw!!

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By jajig on 11/24/2007 7:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
No more CD's also means no more high quality, uncompressed music.

I can't argue the compressed part but there is nothing wrong with the quality of FLAC encoded music. It's lossless, DRM free and convenient.

What happened to DVD Audio? Wait, that's right, people are too lazy to actually GO OUT and buy anything.

I've tried to buy DVD audio before but have never found it in the shops (I'm not from the US maybe it's different there). I also wouldn't call someone buying something in a more convenient way lazy. You could use the same logic calling someone lazy from buying their meat from the butcher rather than catching their own cow and slaughtering it.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Bruce 1337 on 11/25/2007 3:45:23 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed. The biggest problem to come out of file-sharing/iTunes is lowered expectations of quality. People decided that 128kps was "good enough" if it was free. And that notion changed peoples attitude towards what a music file should be. Now, low quality AAC is okay since it's convenient and "only" costs 99 cents. I tell my friends I won't pay that much unless it's loseless and they think I'm being some kind of elitist snob.

While the rest of the consumer electronics world is pushing HD everything, music has actually taken a step backwards in terms of resolution, and everyone seems okay with that. We all want 1080P TVs, but CD quality (a standard I've been listening to for 20 years), hasn't improved in the mainstream market.

I know there's FLAC, and SACD, etc, but there is still no consumer demand for high quality music, which is strange and sad.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Christopher1 on 11/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Xerstead on 11/25/2007 1:37:26 PM , Rating: 3
If I was listening through small desktop speakers I couldn't tell the difference either. But I'm not. I have my PC conected to my AV system for sound. Even using an X-fi Prelude with a digital coax cable the difference between a low bitrate rip and a CD is noticable and does make a difference. Suggest you get your hearing checked.
How is HD video different? A higher bit-rate for the audio, as with video, allows for more information to be stored/re-created and give a more detailed sound.
I have seen several of the same model TV's in stores with much different picture quality from excellent to really bad, all from a HD feed. I have also seen SD DVD's which look far better than some of the HD displays in stores. Different stores set-up (or don't) the tv's differently. I fully agree HD video can give a far better image than SD but the The brightness/contrast and colours are more dependant on the TV's settings not whether it is a SD or HD display.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By brenatevi on 11/25/2007 10:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
Even using an X-fi Prelude with a digital coax cable the difference between a low bitrate rip and a CD is noticable and does make a difference. Suggest you get your hearing checked.
Yet, how many people have a setup like that? Therefor, how many people can tell the difference between 128kbs and CD quality? For the average listener, there isn't a difference.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By DeepBlue1975 on 11/26/2007 7:52:57 AM , Rating: 2
That the average user can't tell the difference doesn't mean it does not exist.

I have good desktop speakers, I use the on board HD audio my motherboard has through the Intel p35 chipset, and I can definitely tell the difference between 128kbps and 192kbps encoded mp3s.
Over 192kbps, I can't tell the difference between bit rates (not even comparing to audio cds), but my speakers are not that good and neither the integrated audio (which to me is sounding as good as my old audigy 2 zs did, and so I ended up selling it to keep just the integrated solution).

So, I'm no audiophile and I'm not out there looking for the greatest audio solution, but I can tell the difference between normal bit rate and high bit rate encoding.

The sole fact that I can tell a difference even in a "just good" set up makes me snob?
If so, then I guess I am. People who like calling names after nothing have the right to do so if that is what pleases them, after all.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By heffeque on 11/26/2007 9:00:19 AM , Rating: 2
128 Kbps of AAC is better than 128 Kbps of MP3, but... I have to agree, the 256 Kbps AAC that Apple is selling on iTunes is virtually identical to a non-compressed one.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Spivonious on 11/26/2007 10:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I'm a snob too. 128Kbps versus a CD is a world of difference. Of course, with a lot of the pop stuff these days, it is hard to tell the difference, but put in some classical stuff and then tell me there's no difference. Any form of compression just kills all dynamics in the music.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Parhel on 11/26/2007 2:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
I had all of my music stored at 192kbps WMA format. My hard drive crashed and I had to re-rip my CDs, so I ripped them as lossless WMA. I thought the difference was night and day. And I'm no audiophile. Typically I listen to my music on a $30 pair of headphones, and sometimes on my $400 stereo.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By mindless1 on 11/26/2007 10:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Nonsense, the difference is plain as day if you plug any decent $60 pair of headphones into a run-of-the-mill PC sound card, or run even that analog output to a reasonably good stereo instead of some crap plastic PC speaker set.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By stonemetal on 11/25/2007 7:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, no moving from SD to HD means a change in resolution if the picture becomes brighter or more colorful then you need to adjust the settings on your tv. What you should be looking for is changes in "crispness" not brightness or color range.

By mikeyD95125 on 11/25/2007 11:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
Stores like Best Buy buy will lower the overall brightness of some displays so they can move stock on other TV's. I wish the stores would set all the TV's up with optimal settings so I could a customer could get a real comparison.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By mindless1 on 11/26/2007 10:55:03 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but your overly simplified test is contrary to what many many people can pick out in a proper ABX test.

Maybe you and dad have been to too many loud rock concerts, live next to train tracks or have a genetic hearing defect.

I'll give you a hint: treble definition

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By dgouldin on 11/26/2007 8:17:20 AM , Rating: 3
Who records in 32-bit? (And you'd be surprised at how many albums are being tracked at 48kHz.) You want your CDs to sound better? Don't wait around for some new great format. Most people have decided that CDs are "good enough". (Hence the utter failure of SACD and DVD-A.) Drop some cash on a killer D/A converter and a good set of speakers instead. You'd be surprised just how good a plain old CD can sound.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By borowki on 11/24/2007 7:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
When we talk about "consumers," we typically mean people who have paid for a product or service. Music pirates are not consumers. That you failed to make this elemental distinction is troubling.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By Polynikes on 11/24/2007 10:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a pirate that hasn't bought at least one CD before.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By borowki on 11/25/2007 5:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be hard-pressed to find a thief who has never paid for anything. What is your point? Obeying the law once is sufficient to make you a law-abiding citizen for a lifetime?

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By heffeque on 11/26/2007 9:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
Good thing that laws in some countries admit that pursuing people for downloading MP3s on eMule is plain stupid.

Musicians earn most of their money by giving concerts and the rest of the leeches around the musicians earn money with the CDs. Now start making your conclusions.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By mindless1 on 11/26/2007 10:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
The point was rather obvious, that they ARE consumers, they just didn't buy some particular thing. You too may be a consumer though you have not bought every product on earth.

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By qwertyz on 11/25/2007 5:40:20 AM , Rating: 1
What's funny is that they try to blame file sharing for declining of music sales but when there will be no file sharing left they will not have what to blame anymore and then they will start suing innocent people for not buying their crap music

RE: Tangible music sales are dead
By mindless1 on 11/26/2007 11:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
What makes you think they're waiting till there's no file sharing left until suing innocent people? How about those who were either found innocent, were deceased, or simply settled because they could not afford the legal battle or chance they'd lose it?

By adam92682 on 11/24/2007 12:56:17 PM , Rating: 1
. "We run the risk of witnessing a genuine destruction of culture," he added.

the french could use a change to their culture.

RE: culture
By inflames99 on 11/24/2007 1:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
it could start with not surrendering for a change.

RE: culture
By psyph3r on 11/24/2007 2:42:09 PM , Rating: 4
Actually the French had a lot to with America becoming a country, but people seem to forget that. They don't always surrender.

RE: culture
By mdogs444 on 11/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: culture
By Darkskypoet on 11/24/2007 7:44:55 PM , Rating: 4
Although we of the west contributed quite a bit... We seem to always forget that the Soviet Broke the majority of the German Armed Forces... They paid for it too. Huge.

Also, Something i was just reading about, Apparently the French Military establishment just kept Military budgets and spending too high for too long... It seems the brass kept 'the Germans are gonna attack' alarm bells going for a long time previous to the outbreak of the second world war, the French spent like crazy militarily... and eventually got sick of the Germans not showing up, or even shaking a fist at them. Funny thing is the French military capacity started to dwindle greatly about 1938ish... around the time the Germans WERE coming up to full steam militarily. Then, well you guessed it, the French Military brass started again to clamour the Germans were coming, but this time to no avail.. And much like the boy who cried wolf, no one listened, and well the rest is history.

Also, the French played a huge role in financing the American revolution, and contributed soldiers, etc both in the US, and also in Europe fighting the British, and keeping them from arraying all her might against the colonies. You may say it was a long time ago, but without the support the US wouldn't have formed how it did. North America would not be the same at all. Help a long time ago, is oft times exceptionally important.

Further, the US had no choice but to declare war on Germany, its not as if German U boats left American ships alone, in fact they had quite the time blowing American Ships out of the water before the commanders lost their independence, and were subjugated to fleet control, and constant radio comms (encrypted or no).

RE: culture
By jajig on 11/24/2007 7:51:52 PM , Rating: 4
Further, the US had no choice but to declare war on Germany

Germany's declaration of war against the US on Dec 11 1941 probably didn't help matters either.

RE: culture
By Chaotic42 on 11/24/2007 8:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
I've been reading "The Rommel Papers", a collection of Erwin Rommel's diary entries throughout World War II. He makes the French sound absolutely shameful when he discusses the invasion of France.

As for the Russians, they've suffered a lot of tragedy in their time.

RE: culture
By jajig on 11/24/2007 7:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
What would that have accomplished? Delay German victory by 30 minutes?

RE: culture
By tim851 on 11/25/2007 1:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Where is the joke in France surrendering "all the time"? They surrendered once, to and enemy who had spent 10 years doing little else than building the mightiest war machine of its time.

Three decades later the U.S. surrendered to a few thousand half-starved kids in the jungle...

RE: culture
By Cattman on 11/25/2007 1:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
The joke is that they gave up with almost no fight. The Germans also tried to invade Russia and England. No surrendering there. To say the the U.S. surrendered in Vietnam is just STUPID. There was no surrender ever. Pull out of a war in another country in which we handcuffed ourselves in to a stalemate yes, surrender no. And how that can be compared to an enemy rolling their tanks down your own city streets is well.........

RE: culture
By tim851 on 11/25/2007 8:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, France is neither an island nor is it 5000 Miles away from Germany and had a cruel winter on its side. And if France could have just run away ... I mean, "pull out", they would have probably done that too, but they were kinda stuck there. So they had the option of fighting back, which, due to the military superiority of Nazi Germany, would have just delayed the inevitable and increased the death toll, or making the best of the situation.

The whole "dying for freedom, honor and country" is something perpetuated by people, who don't need to be afraid of ever actually having to do it.

RE: culture
By mdogs444 on 11/25/2007 9:19:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I guess the United States defending itself after declaring their freedom never happened.....

RE: culture
By Frallan on 11/26/2007 4:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
A couple of HUGE differences there.... The Brittish Navy didn't have 3 times faster horses, Forts in the whole of America and their recruiting base in Canada...

The French gave up because they had no choice - read up b4 U speak up... The french Army was divided into pockets, routed by 3 pronged attacks from an superior enemy and was also slower. The only alternative to giving up was to stand and die for nothing at all. Had not Hitler feared a trick the brittich forces would have been beaten too on the beaches of France before they could be rescued. Had that been the case you would probably have been speking Garman too today since that would have been the world language.

Now I guess that you are from the US of A and i know in what depolorable state your school system is but my advice is to go and take a semester or 2 of History at the university b4 stating mindless ideas learned from the Californian PR machine aka Hollywood.

RE: culture
By mdogs444 on 11/26/2007 7:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
Whether you see it as a relevant comparison or not, doesn't really matter. What you are arguing is why the French gave up - becuase of a depleted army up against a military powerhouse. Well lets see, at the time the US had was just organizing a military going up against the British power.

However, my point on argument was to counter what the poster before me said:
The whole "dying for freedom, honor and country" is something perpetuated by people, who don't need to be afraid of ever actually having to do it.

The people of the newly formed US were "dying for freedom, honor and country" and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Now whether you are aggravated that some people in the US are more concerned with US History than European History is up to you. I, for one, am more concerned with my own country's history.

However, what you are saying makes no sense at all. Even if Germany got further in WWII, the US still would not have spoken German - it would have been the entire European language, not the world language. But thankfully that did not happen - and the US played a part in why.

So take your hatred for the West somewhere else, and I thank god that people like you are not citizens here.

RE: culture
By Frallan on 11/26/2007 9:07:26 AM , Rating: 1
Well we agree on something at least allthough i dont thank any God for it. You see Im pretty happy that you live where you live as well. And as for history knowledge I probably know more American history then the average American as well as world history which is why I manage to put things in context.

RE: culture
By mindless1 on 11/26/2007 11:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
It made sense, you're just refusing to see the difference in circumstance that in one case there was no reason to continue fighting while in the other there was a reasonable hope of a positive outcome.

RE: culture
By mdogs444 on 11/26/2007 11:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
mindless - ive seen your posts on government before - and you are a liberal socialite, so nothing you say to me will be taken seriously.

RE: culture
By tim851 on 11/26/2007 9:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
The people of the newly formed US were "dying for freedom, honor and country" and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Sure. But they had a chance. If there hadn't been an ocean between them and England, had the superior British military been able to just walk over and crush them in a few bloody battles and had they not had allies, the Americans of 1776 would have probably surrendered too. Because it would've been the smart thing to do.

I hate how people pretend as if it would have been the only honorable thing to do for the French to just let themselves be slaugthered by the Nazis.
That's what I meant with dying for blood, honor and country, this "Braveheart"-sh*t of rather dying a free man than living unfree. When push comes to shove, real people choose to live.

So take your hatred for the West somewhere else, and I thank god that people like you are not citizens here.

I don't hate the West and I am a citizen here. Thank you.

RE: culture
By Cattman on 11/27/2007 3:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
When push comes to shove, real people choose to live.

No they dont. History has shown over and over you can only oppress for so long and then real people choose to live free. You undervalue your freedom because you have never been without it.

RE: culture
By tim851 on 11/27/2007 5:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
People wait, regroup, plan and when they have a fighting chance: fight. The French had a Resistance movement too. Sooner or later, when in a better position, there would have been an uprising.

But after they'd been shocked by German Blitzkrieg, the sensible thing was to surrender. They who fight and run away, live to fight another day.

You undervalue your freedom because you have never been without it.

On the contrary. I cherish my freedom. But I value my life higher. The ultimate act of oppression is to kill somebody and take away any freedom forever.

RE: culture
By Cattman on 11/27/2007 3:29:21 AM , Rating: 2
To Stand and die for nothing at all...? I think that pretty much sums it up. I am a vet and would stand and die to protect my country because our country is very much something.

RE: culture
By Frallan on 11/27/2007 8:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yupp and the French soldiers stod and died until the French High command saw that it was useless and choose not to waste more of their lives.

As a vet you probably know what it is to fight and what you were ordered to do it. OR did you know the tactical situation and the strategical situation and decided yourself what to do?

Well tats what i was i France as well.... Soldiers did as they were told and when they were told to lay down arms and not waste their lives in a war that was not possible to win they did it.

RE: culture
By Moohbear on 11/26/2007 10:54:16 AM , Rating: 1
Well, it's like France had much of a choice. The german armies quickly defeated the (limited) mobile french forces. This was done easily for two main reasons: the french army was mostly defensive, heavily concentrated in a series of forts along the German border. The second reason is the obsolete strategic and tactic reasoning prevalent in the french head command. They built an army to fight efficiently a WWI-style conflict. The germans invented the Blitzkrieg... The rest is history as they say.
Let's not forget that all of continental Europe was succesfully (and quickly) invaded by the germans. Not just France, but also Netherland, Belgium, Luxembourg, all of the east (Poland, Romania, Bulagaria, Greece, etc). And at the time, the USSR and Germany had a non-aggression pact, so there were no hope of relief coming from an eastern front.

The key point is that neither the french nor the british wanted to fight that war. So neither the french nor the british had the tools necessary to push back the german onslaught. Hell, even the USSR was not ready far that. It took them 4 years, 20 millions dead and the massive help from the USA and UK. And that's the same country that scared the shit out the USA during the cold war... So, what did you expect the lone french army to do exactly? The last time the germans invaded, the war lasted 4 years and 4 millions of french soldiers died in the trenches (for the country, for freedom, for honor, whatever) to stop them.

Concerning the British, they were spared because of the Channel (again). The Channel saved them from the Spanish (1588), the French (Napoleonic wars) and again from the German (the Blitz, 1940-1941). Without it, no doubts the UK would have been invaded swiftly.
For the russian part, well, without General Winter, there would not have been a Stalingrad battle to speak of...

I'm french and I like History, I'm not downplaying the role and sacrifices made by the people of UK, USSR or USA, just straigthening the facts a little. And let's not forget the people fighting in the FFF in Africa and then Europe, as well as the resisters from all over Europe that died in the hands of the german military, or worse, the Gestapo.

RE: culture
By Frallan on 11/26/2007 11:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
I have allready posted but +1 rating moohbear. Well written and well thought.

go after spammers first
By Screwballl on 11/24/2007 1:11:29 PM , Rating: 5
The real problem is that these countries need to go after spammers, they are the ones that are keeping the internet slower than it needs to be. The REAL internet statistics show that 90% of all internet traffic is NOT file sharing traffic but is spam. Since botnets also fall under some spammers rules, around 38% of internet traffic is botnet related including spam and virus transmissions.

If they can create packet sniffers for file sharing, why not put it to good use and prevent viruses and spam and botnets from ever doing what they need to.

RE: go after spammers first
By darkfoon on 11/24/2007 3:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
hear hear!!
That's right. But you know what else? Regular Joe's like you and me could set up so-called "honey pots" that would trap spam and botnet traffic, as well as virus traffic and even disinfect some of the virus-spewing computers. Oh wait... you can't do that, because its considered hacking in the United States.
Sorry, I guess we have to wait for Uncle Sam to come to the rescue and spend millions of tax dollars on a program that fails to even do 1/100th of what Regular Joes could accomplish for free.

Wow. Just Wow.
By 440sixpack on 11/24/2007 12:23:38 PM , Rating: 5
I'm sure there's no chance this idea could go awry.

By bigboxes on 11/24/2007 7:44:47 PM , Rating: 3

I must say...
By AMDJunkie on 11/25/2007 8:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
Although my friends say I single-handedly keep the CD industry alive, I can only imagine the due process French internet users will have when accused of file sharing copyrighted music or movies. I imagine lazy ISPs, on order from the French media cabal, can simply do a portscan and send out mass mailers, maybe an "internet summons" that declares that their detection of a user using P2P programs is the equivalent of piracy (and no, it isn't: the last time I used bittorrent was to download the publisher-released abandonware Freespace II). Three times firing up your bittorrent client or Limewire and blam; banned from the intarwebs. Who knows how long it's for, or if you're allowed to play ISP-go-round as you get blacklisted from provider to provider.

I do want to say here though that the French still should be applauded for this: both the government and the companies recognize that suing single mothers, grandparents, and tweens for thousands of dollars is not only draconian but simply doesn't work. They are actually trying to do something about the divide between filesharers and the companies dealing with traditional media distribution instead of falling back on terror litigation (sorry children, the media companies exist for a reason and there does need to be some legal way to give compensation to those who produce entertainment for us in a fashion a bit more stable than the capricious donations of those internet users with a conscience). And hell, I can see in ten years that Hollywood & Co. may just pack up their bags and make movies from La Californie on the Nice coast if France shows itself to be willing to protect those who make multi-million dollar investments in these diversions called "movies."

It's ultimately a flawed idea, and way too little details of it are reported here and probably simply haven't been fleshed out yet. Whether this board that decides whose line gets the snip can be fair and actually take diligent investigation of grievances remains to be seen.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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