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French Senate Passes Anti-Piracy Internet Cut-Off Law 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the trois-coups dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The French Senate has approved a three strikes law for Internet users who download copyrighted entertainment media without paying for it. If, after two warnings, a person continues to download pirated music and movies, the internet service providers would cut off access for a year. Quoting: 'The legislation passed with a massive cross-party majority of 297 votes to 15. Only a handful of conservatives, centrists and socialists voted against, while the Communists abstained. In passing the bill, the senators rejected an amendment proposed by senator Bruno Retailleau of the right-wing MPF party replacing internet cut-off with a fine. ... The bill sets up a tussle between France and Brussels. In September, the European Parliament approved by a large majority an amendment outlawing internet cut-off." We discussed the introduction of this legislation several months ago.
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French Senate Passes Anti-Piracy Internet Cut-Off Law

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:14PM (#25603381)
    I'll take the cynical stance and say that this is a good thing. We need fewer people on the Internet. We need to return the 'net to the state it was in circa '92.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:19PM (#25603399)
      It is a very good idea. But I want due process, not some pissant ISP pulling the plug because I'm using bittorrent to download an Ubuntu ISO.

      Anyway, if my internet is disconnected then I'll be forced to do productive stuff like read books and hit the gym...and if I need the internet that badly then I'll get it in my girlfriend's or roommate's name.
      • by an.echte.trilingue (1063180) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:06PM (#25603791) Homepage
        Sometimes I think it would be acceptable to sacrifice a certain amount of due process in return for reasonable sanctions. A few people who receive the injustice of losing their internet connections is better than the mockery that the RIAA has perpetrated on the US justice system.

        By the way, while I could not find the reference to the parliamentary action noted above, the summary is way off in its assessment of the weight of the European Parliament's action. The EU does not have the power to outlaw these kinds of things, only to issue directives that the member states transpose into their laws. The parliament itself is the weakest of the three European institutions, and if we are in traditional first pillar decision making in this case, its amendments do not really mean anything until the Council has approved them. In many cases, the Council can just reject an amendment and pass the legislation in its original form, or at the very least force the EP into negotiation. Historically, the EP yields to the council as soon as the Council makes an issue of something.

        Once a piece of legislation (we'll assume that this is a directive and that the EP's amendment stands) is approved, France still has quite a long time (in general, 3 to 5 years) to transpose the directive. Only once this time limit is reached can any hypothetical tussle between France and the EU begin. These are, however, very rare as the EU is ultimately an inter-state, diplomatic body. It would require that either (a) the Commission place a complaint before the European Court of Justice, (b) that the French courts themselves ask the ECJ to interpret the situation, or (c), that another member state accuses France of not fulfilling its obligations.

        None of these situations are very likely over something this insignificant. The Commission is aware that it depends on the good will of the member states to accomplish its duties. The French courts are historically reticent to ask the ECJ for opinions. Member states have attacked each other in front of the ECJ on less than a dozen occasions AKAIK as such actions are politically very sensitive.

        In short, I would not hold my breath for a Eurocrat in shining armour to save the French internet users.

        Please forgive my misuse of technical vocabulary in this post, my studies are in French.
        • by erlehmann (1045500) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:08PM (#25605639)

          Sometimes I think it would be acceptable to sacrifice a certain amount of due process in return for reasonable sanctions. A few people who receive the injustice of losing their internet connections is better than the mockery that the RIAA has perpetrated on the US justice system.

          Wait, what ?

          Just because the USAsian system doesn't work out, the alternative should be this ? I'll tell you something: In Germany, state attorneys apparently have enough of the music & film industries' claims and apparently only act if hundreds to thousands of files are shared [netzpolitik.org] (link in German).

      • by Dan541 (1032000) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:59PM (#25607407) Homepage

        Don't forget the neighbours WiFi

    • by Hojima (1228978) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:44PM (#25603589)
      It sucks that there seem to be so many people that don't understand how impossible it is to prevent pirating with conventional technology (and it's always them that are in charge). The reason you can't win is because there will always be a way to circumvent the methods implemented, unless you want to utterly eliminate freedom on the internet or the freedom to purchase what technology you want. It's like the war between virus and anti virus, except the "enemy" has a MUCH greater incentive with MUCH more people supporting them. Making drugs illegal has only make an incentive to distribute them more, and pirating has become a market due to its illegality as well. Fighting harder will just make more of an incentive to start a pirating company that fights back more for profit. And fighting harder in this manner usually uses tax money, not money directly from the company.
      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:21PM (#25603909) Journal

        It sucks that we haven't taken the steps to create a citizens mesh network to replace the centrally managed networking we're relying on. Bitching and moaning isn't going to do anything if you're still materially dependent on systems under other peoples control.

        Take the steps to build a mesh network by the citizenry for the citizenry, then when they start passing laws to shut it down and sending the police out to force everyone to stop, THAT is when you should be protesting. Well, probably fighting on the defensive rather than protesting, but you get the idea.

        At this point, the only thing stopping this from happening is the laziness of a citizenry who would rather demand their rights to be dependent consumers be affirmed than actually take responsibility and take effective steps to remedy their situation.

        • by Fourier404 (1129107) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @02:02PM (#25604217)
          That's right, find new ways to circumvent laws, instead of dealing with the actual problem.
          • by crossmr (957846) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:10PM (#25607083) Journal

            The only way to deal with the problem would violate too many laws. The US is too corrupt at that level and there are too many people in the country who are too goddamn clueless to make any meaningful change since in eyes of the law on election day and other things the clueless idiot's opinion carries as much weight as the education person's. Through political activism, etc you might make some advances, but probably not before you and are I long in the ground.

        • "At this point, the only thing stopping this from happening is the laziness of a citizenry who would rather demand their rights to be dependent consumers be affirmed than actually take responsibility and take effective steps to remedy their situation."

          Most people are too ignorant of technology, it's not that they are "lazy", most have no idea of the implications of what is going on. So companies simply take advantage of the ignorance of a population at the time of the net's development. Most people are no

        • by enos (627034)

          What are you smoking?
          Show me some LARGE mesh networks. There were some attempts, but most seem to fall apart once the person that built them goes away. Mesh networks are hard.

          So you're going to do this with your home wifi router, with crappy range, that won't even cross the road between your neighborhood and the next? How are you going to go between cities? Most people would rather take the capitalist approach: hire someone to do it for them. Then you're just forming an ISP, and you're back to where we are

    • Bad. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583) *

      A censored internet will look nothing like the free net of '92. It will look like broadcast TV because the same people who censor that will be deciding who gets kicked off.

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:50PM (#25603645)

      Passing a law against What everyone does is a risky affair. Sure, legislators have to go along with the concept that recorded media is property. As in the idea that a corporation can actually own a song or a movie, which is quite absurd, although accepted. A slight change in a note makes a different song, a minor re-edit or re-filming of the same plot makes a different movie. Which according to the bizarre theory of corporate ownership of 'intellectual property' creates an entirely new piece of property.

          Add to this strange notion that everyone has the means to quite easily break this so-called law, since computers and telecommunications are ubiquitous, and you have a situation where it is easier to break a law than it is to obey it.

          Which is not a stable situation. The law enforcers must either ignore the law in general, focus its enforcement on a specific minority group, or enforce the law equally against everyone. Enforcing against everyone changes the conditions that law is supposed to protect and is almost never done. Choosing between non-enforcement and selective enforcement is often a matter of culture. I would believe that the French law enforcement will not enforce this law against French citizens, only against foreigners and then only when the foreigners break other laws (or act outside of French cultural norms) and this law becomes one more weapon that can be used to make them conform.

          Americans on the other hand are basically punitive people. Laws like this are specifically focused on targeted minorities for the specific purpose of incarcerating them for profit into private prisons, to steal their property, and to destroy their political clout. An example is the use of the drug possession laws being used to re-enslave the African-American non-middle-class youth. Each year the drug penalties get harsher and more focused on Blacks while White youth are given warnings and probation for the same 'offenses'. In America, copyright laws will be primarily used against young people who protest against any government actions.

          These laws are perfect for that purpose. They can be widely broken with no ill effect to society as a whole (like the marijuana laws), and still be enforced brutally against specific individuals and groups. As long as the mainstream of people can continue to download music and movies without hassle, they will accept harsh punishments for the same downloading activity against young people who demonstrate against the government.

          If McCain is elected, expect the criminalization of file downloading and harsh penalties applied against only the people who actively oppose government policies. This is the American way of doing things and there are many historical precedents for using harsh laws against harmless activities in this manner.

      • I have heard of filesharing cases being brought against grandma's, mentally disabled dead people, single mothers who had never used a computer, and on and on, but I think that this is the first time that I have seen somebody argue that they were going to be used to target minority youths. Please, do elaborate, perhaps with the help of a real life example or something else resembling evidence.

        By the way, although your rhetoric about re-enslaving black people in the US was quite vogue in the 1990's, I lik
        • By the way, although your rhetoric about re-enslaving black people in the US was quite vogue in the 1990's, I like to think that the fact that we are potentially about to elect a half-African president pretty thoroughly debunks that. Drug laws in the US are broken, drug laws do hit poor people unfairly, but they are not a racist conspiracy.

          Lead us to freedom, Uncle Tom!!
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by iminplaya (723125)

          ...but they are not a racist conspiracy.

          No?? Think again... Here's a few choice words from some who responsible for those laws...

          "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others."

          "...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

          "Reefer makes dar

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by headpushslap (583517)
          we are potentially about to elect a half-African president
          Obama is not half-anything, he is a U.S. Citizen by birth, born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
      • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:18PM (#25603889) Journal

        If McCain is elected...

        Bla bla bla...The DMCA was signed into law by a democrat. It was a republican, probably more than one, that helped to keep Clipper chips out of your computers. In fact one of the louder voices was McCain's. This is not an endorsement. I dislike him more than most people do. But let's try to remember from who's trough both sides are feeding from. And also don't forget that Joe Lieberman, as a democrat, most likely had the patriot act waiting in the wings long before Bush showed up on the scene. These people from either side are not your friends. We need a serious purge.

      • by westlake (615356)
        Passing a law against What everyone does is a risky affair.

        .

        Assuming everyone does it is a risky business - assuming they will continue on with it after being warned twice is also a risky business.

        Sure, legislators have to go along with the concept that recorded media is property. As in the idea that a corporation can actually own a song or a movie, which is quite absurd, although accepted.

        As absurd as the F/OSS programmer who thinks his GPL license is enforceable?

        A slight change in a note makes a diffe

      • If McCain is elected, expect the criminalization of file downloading and harsh penalties applied against only the people who actively oppose government policies. This is the American way of doing things and there are many historical precedents for using harsh laws against harmless activities in this manner.

        Wow what a wild assertion. Got anything to back that up? FUD much?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jalet (36114)

        > I would believe that the French law enforcement will not enforce this law against French
        > citizens.

        You're missing the point. This particular law precisely tells French citizens that, as far as "piracy" is concerned, law enforcement is to be directly done by private interest holders like the french RIAA equivalents. This negate the rights of each and every french citizen to have such matters decided in a court of law.

    • by HanzoSpam (713251)

      I'll take the cynical stance and say that this is a good thing. We need fewer people on the Internet. We need to return the 'net to the state it was in circa '92.

      Not only that, there's a bonus:

      The bill sets up a tussle between France and Brussels. In September, the European Parliament approved by a large majority an amendment outlawing internet cut-off."

      Anything that creates contention with the undemocratic EC is a good thing indeed. Especially when it's the French, who have been it's staunchest advocates.

      Bring back one man, one vote!

    • by earlymon (1116185)

      I'll take the cynical stance and say that this is a good thing. We need fewer people on the Internet. We need to return the 'net to the state it was in circa '92.

      Absofreakinglutely correct!

      With all of this distributed crap, we've lost the best of it. Sigs - bah! A dreary shadow of finger. I want my gopher holes back. I want to use tin. I'm still ok with the @ for email and automatic routing (sure, bang routing was fun, but it was too traceable by the unwashed (read, the boss)). Let's get stochastic about it - like God intended.

    • Personally I think this is a far better system than the STUPID net filter that they're trying to pass here in Australia. If they can't go after the people running the websites (hello, start here Conroy!), then rather than making EVERYONE pay for the sins of a few, catch the hits in the logs. That way they can verify it after the fact and catch those doing truly illegal things without a) slowing things down for everyone; and b) infringing on the rights of the citizens to a free and open internet.
  • This is akin to if you'd murder someone with a knife for the third time, they'd not let you cut your own bread for a year...err, actually you wouldn't be able to cut your own bread for far longer than a year, seeing that you'd be in a maximum security prison...but anyway.

    That really was a horrible example, someone want a car analogy?

    • Re:Common sense? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:26PM (#25603449)

      That really was a horrible example, someone want a car analogy?

      Sure. It's like getting caught driving drunk in the US. They'll give you a fine, even though you are putting the lives of all around you at risk. They might even throw you in jail for the evening until you sober up. When you finally end up killing someone because of your drunk driving, the government might maybe, begrudgingly, take your license away.

      • Not quite. I closely know a guy in jail now, for 2 years (3 years probation after that), because of 3 DUI's. He never had a wreck and never killed anyone.

        You won't get it taken away the first time, but after the 2nd or 3rd, you will.

        • In Michigan, I believe you lose your license for a year.. the first time.

          • Loss of license for from 90 days to a year is typical in the US. Sometimes you get back a restricted license that lets you drive to and from work. Jail time is also typical. Second offense penalties are much more severe. DUI in the US [drivinglaws.org]
    • Re:Common sense? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kramerd (1227006) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:49PM (#25603635)

      Car analogy:

      You are a truck driver. You are caught on 3 occasions driving your truck through a gas station to skip a traffic light, regardless of whether or not you actually stopped to buy gas (in some states in the US, this is considered an illegal use of private property). As a result, you are prohibited from using public roads. Whether for driving your truck or your bicycle or even taking the public city bus, you are not allowed to do so for 1 year, because you didnt pay for something you may have had the right to access.

      Seems only 15 out of 312+ members of the French Senate have managed to keep their heads out of their asses long enough to realize how much this law stinks.

      Never mind that the government of a country should not be using its resources to protect private businesses from their own failing business model.

      The internet has become an essential service for most people in today's world.

      The law doesnt address how to resolve an issue of employees using the internet to download copyrighted material at work, if 4 employees do it at once, the entire business would lose internet for a year.

      The law doesnt even specify that the downloading of copyrighted material must be illegal. If I go to cnn.com and download a podcast, I have downloaded copyrighted material from the internet and have not paid for it.

      On the other hand, in many cases the validity of whether material is copyrighted is not apparent. If I download a torrent that contains copyrighted material that is not labeled as such, I have permission to do so from whoever uploads the material. If the source material is in fact copyrighted, I could lose my internet for downloading it from someone who downloaded from someone who downloaded it from the original host. I would have no way of knowing that the material was copyrighted. And thousands of people could lose internet access because of one person's actions.

      This is a slippery slope that ends in transfer of information without a fee or a EULA impossible, which in the long run, turns the internet from the information superhighway into the worlds biggest electronic shopping mall.

      Its not like we didnt have reasons to hate France before, but if this passes the lower house of the senate, I for one will be boycotting all things French (admittedly, that means I have to give up bottled water, but still, thats about 2/3 of France's economy, right?)

      • The law doesnt even specify that the downloading of copyrighted material must be illegal.

        Citation needed.

        Here's what the article says:

        Under the so-called three strikes or "graduated response" legislation - which still needs approval by the lower house before it becomes French law - illegal downloaders are first sent an email warning them of their infraction. They are subsequently sent a warning letter in the post.

        If after this second warning they continue to illegally download copyrighted content, the internet service provider will cut off access to the internet for a year.

        Who's got anything better to go by?

      • by fyoder (857358)

        It's the virtual equivalent of the old punishment of cutting off a hand for theft. If they're going to return to this way of thinking, perhaps for consistency's sake they should return to to that. And, of course, reinstate the use of that classic of French justice, the guillotine.

  • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:19PM (#25603401)

    The article is short on details. How will they know that the downloader didn't have permission to download the copyrighted work? There are movies, music, and video games that are copyrighted but freely available. Does French law require that copyrighted works be paid for rather than distributed at no charge?

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      They don't really care if you have permission. What is in it for them to do their research?

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Unless they've thrown all ISP privacy laws over board, I guess it means every C&D letter (in the US you'd call it a DMCA notice, but it's not the US) will be counted towards the limit, three letters and you're offline for a year. The ISP probably won't do any fact-checking at all...

      • > I gueI guess it means every C&D letter (in the US you'd call it a DMCA notice, but it's
        > not the US)

        No. I'd call it a C&D letter, because that is what it would be. It would have nothing to do with the DMCA.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jonaskoelker (922170)

      How will they know that the downloader didn't have permission to download the copyrighted work? There are movies, music, and video games that are copyrighted but freely available.

      One would hope the law says "unlicensed" rather than "not paid for". One would fear that the law is made by lawyers (just because we don't like lawyers). A fortunate side effect is that they probably know to distinguish the two.

      If not, then because due to the fact that

      There are [...] video games that are copyrighted but freely available

      We would have that apt-get is a tool for software piracy: nexuiz, openarena, wesnoth; that's three strikes. Be sure to add the music to your playlist (dpkg -L $pkg; unzip the pk3s).

      The french are trying to outlaw Linux? They're probably st

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Beretta Vexe (535187)

      First, the French copyright law "droit d'auteur" ( author's rights ) are significantly different of US copyright law.

      Second, the article isn't accurate. The HADOPI (Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des Å"uvres et la protection des droits sur Internet, " hight authority of protection of broadcasting right on internet" approximative translation ) only investigate cases after copyright holder request.
      So it's pretty unlikely that the author or the copyright owner request intervention of the hado

    • All those objections have been raised. I know personally the people at the main advocacy group opposing this nonsense [laquadrature.net], and from what they tell me, they are in complete in denial. They are impervious to the technical arguments. The entertainment industry feeds them their talking points, and that's good enough for them.
      But the technical aspect is just a part of the whole problem; constitutionnally, it's on grounds just as weak. And the European Parliament, backed by the Commission, has shot it down premptivel

  • So now you know who in your government was willing to sell out, and who wasn't ( or had a higher price then the industry was willing to pay ).

  • Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:41PM (#25603561)

    Some people should release some 'copyrighted' material they created then lure some of the political figures to download it. Once a couple of people get banned from the net, that law will disappear quickly.

    • Do you seriously believe that such people would ever be banned?

      • by tmosley (996283)
        No, but media bringing up the application of a double standard is a pretty good way to stop politicians from doing stupid stuff, and to get foolish laws taken off the books.

        If only Ted Kennedy's problems at the airport had been enough to get rid of the Patriot Act.
    • I'd release my stuff as freeware with a EULA that said that politicians weren't allowed to use it, then go after only them. Nobody reads EULAs if they can help it.

    • by DeadDecoy (877617)
      I'd be surprised if political figures downloaded content from the intertubes much less used it. Keep in mind that most people who are in political office were alive before computers became ubiquitous and over their lifetime, never had to learn how to use it out of necessity. That's why these laws get passed. It doesn't effect those voting for it. If it did, it would have been shot down much faster.
    • by Loibisch (964797)

      Seeing how far removed some of those figures are from reality, you'd probably have to teach them what a download is, let alone how to download something.

      • Seeing how far removed some of those figures are from reality, you'd probably have to teach them what a download is, let alone how to download something.

        Most of them have kids.

  • The worst part.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The worst part is that this doesn't really require any evidence. It's "three warnings", not "three convictions". There's no due process.

    Also, cutting people off the Internet is a way disproportionate punishment. For me, this would mean:
    - Not being able to participate in the work of my political party of choice (The Swedish Pirate Party, if you're wondering..)
    - Heck, it will cut me off from lots of vital information that I need to practice my democratic rights.
    - Not being able to pay my bills without going t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by erlehmann (1045500)

      The Internet is a vital part of participating in modern society.

      Exactly. Try getting by on a somewhat modern western university without having access to the online materials (Stallman wrote about that [gnu.org].)

      • by crossmr (957846)

        You're not allowed to have service. It doesn't say its illegal for you to use a computer.
        1) Get the service in someone else's name
        2) I didn't read it, but can you switch ISPs?
        3) go to an internet cafe
        4) use the school library
        5) piggy back on someone's wifi
        6) use a coffee shop's wifi
        7) move the fuck out of france

  • by Cochonou (576531) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:51PM (#25603657) Homepage
    In France, a law has to be examined by the higher chamber (senate) and the lower chamber (national assembly) before it can be enforced. The national assembly has not yet examined this law. That means that the law which has been approved by the senate is not yet in its final form, and might undergo deep revisions before it is enforced.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      That means that the law which has been approved by the senate is not yet in its final form, and might undergo deep revisions before it is enforced.

      In theory. How often does it happen with a law that flies through 295-16? Everyone has clearly bought into this.

    • It's not a non-story. If in the US the house had approved a bill to do something ridiculous, say only teach creationism in schools, even if it were definitely going to die in the senate, that's still a scary situation. Here, the story is important because one of the two houses passed such a dumb law. That's only one legislative body away from internet fascism.

    • Yes but (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nicolas MONNET (4727)

      Nazi-douchebag Sarkozy had his government use "emergency" procedure to pass it, so it will only be discussed once in each chamber.
      Of course, just the mere fact that they claimed it to be an emergency is yet another proof that those assholes are just doing Vivendi's bidding.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:54PM (#25603689) Homepage

    If I obey the law and send a letter the customer won't need my bandwidth any more...

    • Your post just made me think of a positive use for this insane 'allegation=conviction' law:

      You're in a 12 month lock-in contract with your ISP and a cheaper, better alternative has just come to market. You send 3 allegations of copyright infringement, accusing yourself. Voilla! New ISP. :)

      • by digitig (1056110)

        Your post just made me think of a positive use for this insane 'allegation=conviction' law:

        You're in a 12 month lock-in contract with your ISP and a cheaper, better alternative has just come to market. You send 3 allegations of copyright infringement, accusing yourself. Voilla! New ISP. :)

        ...after a year of no internet at all. Not quite sure what you've gained there.

  • The Vivendi law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pieterh (196118) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:54PM (#25603695) Homepage

    This law was mainly pushed by Vivendi but there are powerful backers from all across the spectrum:

    * Telecoms firms that want a mandate to filter all Internet traffic so that they can block all P2P, and then VoIP, and then video streaming and then anything which competes with their monopoly products.
    * Large ISPs, because these are now all owned by the telecoms firms.
    * Vendors like Cisco because they want to sell loads and loads of expensive filtering equipment.
    * The music industry, because it still thinks it's going to sue its way back onto the right side of history. Stupid kloten, when will they learn?
    * The movie industry, because they've drunk the music industry koolaid.
    * The TV industry, because they want to sell more DVDs and because their distributors in the digital age are, of course, the ISPs.
    * And finally, certain software firms, because the only way to implement this law, finally, is to use a fully locked down operating system that only runs authorized software, so no Linux.

    The French tried so hard to get this same law pushed through the European Parliament, but that seems to be saner.

    There are similar legislative pushes all around Europe, at the national level, and for the same reasons.

    The Internet is, really, under attack from concerted and powerful forces that hate what those free packets represent.

    • by Chep (25806)
      You forgot: the prez's mistress (ok, technically "wife", but the primary reason why they got married in the first place is for protocolar reasons. Most states are still too frigid to allow an official visit of a technically forgeign celibate head of state accompanied with his free and wild "very special best friend". With visits to the Vatican and the UK scheduled early in 2008, Sarkozy either had to marry Carla or had to abstain from sex for a couple days (each time).

      It happens that Mrs Sarkozy, through he
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:57PM (#25603723) Homepage Journal

    I heard there will be extra penalties if the downloads weren't in French...

  • Let's compare this with a danish politician (I'm from Denmark).

    http://www.computerworld.dk/art/42432?a=newsletter&i=1393 [computerworld.dk] says (my translation from danish)

    "Enhedslistens"* candidate for the parliament, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, thinks tha file sharing should be legal, and digital rights management, DRM, illegal

    "I think it's an illusion to believe that it's possible to stop copying. I amounts to sticking one's head in the sand. The politicians have to realize the necessity of forming a committee that will address the question of how artists can be compensated for their work."

    *"Enhedslisten" is the leftmost party in danish politics, left of The Socialist People's Party. I'd guess they compare with the greens; the environment is also one of their big issues, they're all for taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

    I remember them branding themselves as the Robin Hood party one time, but I don't recall them using that term again. If they get into parliament, they often hold around four seats out of 179, which is the smallest possible amount (less than 2% of the votes and you don't get in).

    Be aware that this statement was during election season.

    I hope this gives you nutrition for cognition :)

  • by Alterion (925335) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:40PM (#25604061)
    "The bill sets up a tussle between France and Brussels. In September, the European Parliament approved by a large majority an amendment outlawing internet cut-off."" If this does conlfict with the EU amendment/directive then this will be thrown out by the ECJ whe it comes before them, simple.
    • by Cochonou (576531) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:56PM (#25606047) Homepage
      For sure. But the article is slightly misleading: what is controversial in this law is not really that the internet access can be cut off, but that it can be cut off without a court decision. In fact, the law is proposing to create an "administrative authority" which would take care of these matters, without a trial, in order to speed things up. This is precisely what the european parliament aims to outlaw: the ability to cut off an internet connection without a court decision.
      To make matters more complex, since the reforms promised by the European Constitution (which failed to be approved at a referendum in france and netherlands in 2005, and a revised version was rejected by ireland in 2008), the european parliament still has very limited powers: it shares its decisional power with the european council, which is made of the representants of the executive governments of the member countries. As far as I know, the european council has not yet taken a stance on this topic.
  • It is a crying shame the people who gave the world "The Rights of Man" must now seek protection against their own lords from foreigners in Brussels.

    For make no mistake -- corporations are merely updated feudal lords. For they have gathered power and exercise it for profit. And now they wish to enforce it by ritual excommunication.

  • Just say that this is great to protect all the American music and movies. In about 20 seconds it will not stop the law, it will be a requirement to at least download 1 movie per week, wether you have Internet or not.

  • You mean they have the technology now for a computer to be able to tell if you bought something before? I guess then they can tell that I've already got a license to use the MP3 codec, so now when I download a program that tries to sell me an MP3 license, they can automatically discount it from the price, or automatically enable it in the referred program!
  • ... if the French Senate has an open WiFi connection I might borrow for a while.
  • The French seem to be following the US example, and in this case it doesn't seem like a good idea...

  • Whether it be a rules designed to stop folks from stealing media, violating their monthly transfer cap, or even using a competitor's VoIP package, they are all susceptible to malware attacks. Given an interesting enough malware that doesn't seek to steal your data, but rather use you as a conduit, we all finally have plausible deniability.

    Every time they get into this, there is an assumption that I am in complete control of my hardware and software. History has clearly shown that even with tightly-con

  • France also had one of the worst anti-cryptography laws worldwide... until they gradually replaced them with saner laws in 1996 and 2004.

    So is that a reason for the French to be optimistic? No. Relaxing the anti-crypto was done for the sake of equalizing laws with other countries, while tightening the screw on file sharers is just one way to kowtow before the almighty WIPO and their representatives like IFPI, RIAA et al. So things are probably going to worsen rather than improve. France have been dragging h

  • The French consumer should see a price decrease in movie DVDs and Blu-Rays as well a price decrease in CD music. Am I right?

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

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