It was heavily backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, but a bill that would have seen illegal downloaders kicked off the Net after three chances was defeated by the French parliament earlier this month. Now, in a slightly amended form, it’s returned, and is expected to pass on a vote.
The first version passed the Senate, but was defeated in the National Assembly, where two of Sarkozy’s party joined Socialists to vote against an amendment that would have seen those thrown offline still forced to pay Internet bills.
Under the bill, illegal downloaders would first receive a warning e-mail, then a letter. If they persist, they’d be kicked offline for a year. Unsurprisingly, the bill has the backing of the music and film industries.
However, privacy advocates have said the bill amounts to state surveillance, and makes no allowance for those whose computers might have been hacked.
"President Sarkozy has been a true champion of intellectual property rights and the proposed law is an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France."
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