In what could be seen as a major setback to authorities’ efforts to crack down on online piracy, French legislators have turned down a bill that would see cutting off the internet connections of users who illicitly download movies, music, or videos and other such content without paying for them.
The new legislation, backed by President Nicholas Sarkozy, would have created the world’s first ever state surveillance system on internet pirates.
Although the bill had been cleared by both houses in a first reading, but the arrival of Socialist MPs turned the situation other way around, and the bill was finally rejected with the legislators voted 21 to 15 against it.
The proposed legislation would have enforced under “three strikes” strategy, which include a state-agency would first send the offenders a warning email, followed by a letter, and eventually cut off their internet connections if they were found guilty for the third time.
Civil liberties campaigners and Socialist criticised the bill by saying that it could end up in punishing wrong people, as innocent people may face punishment for the unlawful activity of hackers who somehow stolen their computer’s identity.
The bill can be amended and re-introduced in parliament later this year.
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Had the three-strike law been adopted in France, it would have been likely that the same would have happened over here. During a recession, as revenue becomes scarer, the content industry is likely to press harder on decision makers to adopt anti piracy laws.