France’s Piracy Law In Tatters; MPs Focus Instead On Easter Hols


Despite last-minute encouragement from U2’s manager, French politicians Thursday afternoon surprisingly rejected the Creation And Internet bill, which would have seen ISPs disconnect repeat file-sharers, when only a handful of MPs turned out to vote. Despite the senate having earlier passed the bill and sections of the bill being voted for by assembly members earlier this week, the bill in its entirety was finally rejected in a show of hands at the assembly, 21-15 – a paltry turn-out for what is a house of 577 members. Secretary of state Roger Karoutchi called it “an act of filibuster”, reports.

The bill, authored by the Fnac entertainment retail chain chair Denis Oliviennes at the behest of culture minister Albanel and president Sarkozy, would have created an agency – the Higher Authority for the Dissemination of Works and Protection of rights on the Internet (HADOPI) – to oversee the monitoring of ISP customers’ transfers. Those found downloading copyrighted material illegally would be warned, warned again, then disconnected. But this “graduated response” model is opposed by European Parliament members, who have amended both internet freedoms and telecoms reform bills currently being passed to guarantee consumers’ right to connectivity and force agencies like HADOPI to seek a court order before disconnect anyone.

A revised version of the bill must now go before the assembly and the senate again when they return from easter break on April 27. International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) chair John Kennedy said the rejection was “disappointing” but is pinning hopes on the government resubmitting the bill. In the UK, the interim Digital Britain report advocated a similar warning system, backed by a Rights Agency to oversee possible actions like bandwidth throttling, developing DRM standards and providing content owners with “a gateway to legal remedies”.

(Photo: Richard Ying, some rights reserved)

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