It was a tight vote, but last Thursday MEPs – Members of the European Parliament – decided against the idea of banning persistentillegal file sharers from having Net access, saying it would create a problem with “civil liberties and human rights.” That favored an amendment to the Bono Report on the CulturalIndustries (no, not penned by the U2 frontman, but French MEP Guy Bono). However, it brings MEPs into direct conflict with the governments of individual countries, several of whom seem determined totackle piracy head-on. However, as the European Parliament decision isn’t legally binding on member countries, it doesn’t stop them carrying out their plans, either. France hasalready announced it will turn ISPs into spies, forcing them to pass on information about file sharers. The government will then issue warnings or request that the offenders’ Net access beterminated. In Britain the government has tentatively floated similar plans, but ISPs rave refused to do their part. As to the vote by MEPs, a spokesman for the European Parliament told theBBC, "The vote shows that MEPs want to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and those of consumers, and that big measures likecutting off internet access shouldn’t be used."
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