Set to take effect this January, French web surfers on their third strike will
be kicked off their internet connection for a period of one year. For strikes
one and two, surfers will receive written warnings via e-mail and registered
A similar plan in the European Union was voted
down last April, with many EU member countries citing concerns over civil
liberties and human rights. France's plans continues unaffected however – The New York Times called the EU vote
“symbolic” -- as member nations are generally permitted to govern themselves as
they see fit.
The French content industry “hailed” the three-strikes law as a model for
the European Union as a whole.
“This is the most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy
that we have seen,” said IFPI executive John Kennedy.
“There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone,” said French
president Nicolas Sarkozy.
A number of European news sources noted that Sarkozy seems to have taken a
personal interest piracy after marrying Italian model and folk singer Carla
“We run the risk of witnessing a genuine destruction of culture,” said
Sarkozy at the proposal's
introduction in November 2007, who called it a "decisive moment for
the future of a civilized Internet."
Speaking last April, Kennedy said that governments generally decided that
there is “no easy solution,” and that banning pirates from the internet serves
to be the “most attractive” option available.
Enforcement will be handled by a newly-created administrative
copyright-enforcement agency called “Hadopi,” which stands for the French
version of “High authority for copyright protection and dissemination of works
on the internet.” The firm will receive complaints from copyright owners and
hand out punishments when necessary.
France's Culture Minister, Christine Albanel, said the law's purpose was to
replace criminal sanctions with “dissuasion,” and notes that banning people
from the Internet takes a “preventative and educational approach.”
The law faces stiff resistance from a wide variety of government and public
interest groups, including France's own data protection agency. French newspaper
Libération noted that families could lose their internet connection if
their children – or neighbors' children – downloaded music via an unprotected
The Times Online notes that the French entertainment industry will
drop “existing copyright protection” -- presumably meaning that they will strip
DRM – from media purchased in France, in order to facilitate its playback on a
wide variety of devices.
quote: In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
quote: For a while now the EU in general, and France in particular have been acting as if they alone are fit to make decisions about things like file sharing, piracy, and monopolies/competative buissiness practice.
quote: Creating laws to prevent corporations from changing with the times from a disc based media to an online sales model.. isnt this a bit strange of the lawmakers to agree to this ?
quote: If a crime is being committed (back to the shoplifting analogy) then there are already laws in place to deal with that sort of thing, so why aren't they being used?
quote: Maybe people who depended on them for a lift would be affected indirectly, but hey could get around it easily.
quote: Do the crime, do the time, take the punishment. Stop making excuses for criminals.
quote: Firstly (if you equate piracy to shoplifting) then this is virtual house arrest surely? And something of an over reaction?
quote: Secondly, all the people living at that address which is banned/black listed will be being punished too, which cannot be right and just either?
quote: Directly punishing numerous innocent people for one person's crime is not fair any way you look at it though.
quote: why don't they go down off the coast of Somalia, and take care of getting rid of some real pirates??
quote: “This is the most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy that we have seen,” said IFPI executive John Kennedy .