I've always thought that the French have some pretty extreme views when it comes to intellectual property, and it looks like they're in no hurry to disprove me, even if it means going against the EU parliament.
The French parliament just passed a bill that will cut off the internet service for users who are caught illegally downloading music three or more times. The Senate approved the bill today after the lower chamber approved the bill on Tuesday. The new law creates a government agency to monitor internet activity for illegal downloads and step in when it detects them. This is the second time the bill has gone before the parliament. The first time,
a surprise bit of political maneuvering resulted in a small group of
Socialist legislators blocking the bill in the lower house after other
members, thinking the bill's passage was assured, failed to show up for
The bill sets up an agency, known as HADOPI, that can
obtain user information from internet service providers upon request
from music labels. If the agency finds that a user has downloaded
music, movies or other copyrighted material illegally, it will send
them a notice for the first two infractions, then cut off their
internet service for two months to a year after the third.
music and film industries are obviously pleased with the passage of the
bill, which they hope will be an example for the rest of Europe and the
That's not very likely, however, since the EU parliament
recently added language to a telecommunications bill currently in
negotiation that declares: "[n]o restriction may be imposed on the
fundamental rights and freedoms
of end-users without a prior ruling of the judicial authorities... save
when public security is threatened, in which case the ruling may be
In other words, no blocking of internet access
without a court order, which pretty much seems to directly contradict
the French HADOPI law.