France to disconnect pirates

June 20, 2008 | 08:28

Tags: #file-sharing #piracy #pirates #three-strikes

Companies: #france

It's not just Virgin Media who is looking to implement a three-strikes policy against naughty file sharers: now the French government wants to join the party.

BetaNews broke the news (via Reuters) that the Cultural Minister of France Christine Albanel has introduced a bill which threatens file sharers with disconnection from the Internet. Via the foundation of an anti-piracy organisation to be called HADOPI, or Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (that's the High Authority for Copyright Protection and Dissemination of Works on the Internet to you and me), the riposte graduée of a three-strikes policy will be brought to bear against downloaders of hooky content.

HADOPI will be responsible for the collection of IP addresses associated with the illicit downloading of copyright materials. This information will then be tied to personal details via the collusion of the nation's ISPs. The first strike is an e-mail warning the user to cease and desist their eyepatch-wearing ways. The second is an official letter, presumably on headed paper with a nice intimidating logo.

Finally, you get the killing blow: if the e-mail and the letter haven't scared the wrongdoer off, the ISP will be ordered to terminate their connection for a period of between three months and one year.

The overall goal of the project – and the yardstick for its success – is an 80 percent reduction in piracy by the nation's 'net users. A lofty goal, but I think Albanel might be setting her sights a little high. The project will be voted upon by parliament this autumn, and if ratified will be implemented at the start of next year.

Do we have any French readers worried about their habits getting them into bother, or are you just glad the punishments don't extend to Monsieur Guillotine? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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