The French government on Tuesday formally rescinded a controversial law that allowed authorities to cut off internet access to those who repeatedly download copyrighted material.
France introduced the penalty as part of a larger 2009 internet law known as Hadopi, but did not actually impose it. The very possibility of unplugging citizens from the internet, however, remained unpopular and symbolized for many a backwards approach to technology policy.
On Tuesday morning, France’s Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti held a press conference and took to Twitter to announce the formal end of the penalty:
In the last year, the debate in France has shifted away from piracy penalties and is now focused on the possible imposition of cultural levies on consumer devices like the iPads and Kindle Fires; such levies already exist in France, Canada and elsewhere in the form of “blank media” taxes that are used to compensate artists for the copying of their work. But as fewer people use blank CD’s and cassettes, such revenue is dwindling.