November 1, 2008

France May Penalize Internet Pirates

The French Senate has approved a three strikes law for Internet users who download copyrighted entertainment without paying for it.

The legislation must also be approved by the lower house of parliament, the EU Observer reported. The goal is to force people now engaged in electronic piracy of movies, music and video games to use legal sources like iTunes.

The "graduated response" would start with an e-mail warning. Those who persist would get a letter by snail mail.

Internet service providers would cut off access for a year to those who continue to pirate copyrighted material after the second warning.

The Senate passed the law 297 to 15 with Communists abstaining. The Senate rejected an amendment by Bruno Retailleau, a right-wing senator, who wanted to substitute a fine for the service cut-off. Retailleau argued that depriving people of Internet access is unfair because the service often comes bundled with television, telephone and other services.