French Senate Enact "Three-Strike" Law

The French Senate has passed a bill that will allow web pirates to be disconnected from the internet if they have been caught downloading illegal content online three times although the European Parliament - whose HQ is in Strasbourg, France - has vehemently opposed the proposal.

Those found guilty of committing the sinful act of piracy will get a first email warning while the second one will result in a postal warning letter. Those caught pirating for a third time will have their internet access clamped down for one year.

For obvious reasons, Internet service providers are against the legislation as the onus is on them to make sure that the legislation is enacted. This could result in a significant rise in the price of broadband across the Channel to pay for the cost of implementing a full-scale tracking system.

The vote passed the Senate with a crushing majority of 297 against 15 but it still needs to go through the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, before it becomes law of the land.

France would then become the first European country to adopt such a punitive law.

Other proposals included in the law includes the requirement that the French music industry gives up Digital Rights management within six months and improves interoperability of music files.

So how big is Piracy in France... Well, if Web Analyst Alexa is to be believed, the average French internet user is neither a Big Rapidshare user, nor a huge Piratebay fanatic.