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France to Ban Illegal File-Sharers From the Internet?

France to Ban Illegal File-Sharers From the Internet?

New 3-strikes-and-your-out policy will lead to the suspension or termination of internet connections for persistent pirates.

Copyright holders seem to be taking a different tack these days in its ongoing war on internet piracy. Instead of laboriously having to target individuals or sites using its own resources, it’s now trying to enlist ISPs in its fight to try and prevent persistent file-sharers from even connecting to the internet in the first place.

A ominous new agreement currently referred to as the Memorandum of Understanding, was signed in Paris today by music producers, audiovisual producers, ISPs and public authorities, each pledging to do their part in fighting internet piracy. The plan, endorsed by the French President himself, Nicolas Sarkozy, calls for the creation of a independent government body which will operate a system of warnings leading to the suspension or termination of internet subscriptions used for illegal file-sharing – essentially a three-strikes-and-you-are-out policy against repeat offenders. In return for the govt’s crackdown on illegal file-sharing, the French music industry has agreed to drop DRM protections for French music catalogues so that it can be downloaded and played on any type of portable media player. For its part, the French movie industry has also agreed to speed up the release of movies on DVD.

‚ÄúThis is the single most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy that we have seen so far,” said John Kennedy, Chairman & CEO of IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide. “President Sarkozy has shown leadership and vision. He has recognised the importance that the creative industries play in contemporary western economies.”

The winners will be French music, French employees and French music fans. By requiring ISPs to play a role in the fight against piracy, President Sarkozy has set an example to others of how to ensure that the creative industries remain strong in difficult markets so that they can remain major economic and cultural contributors to society.

In a rebuke to the thought of ISPs becoming internet policeman, UFC-Que Choisir, a consumer association, said the plans were “very harsh, potentially repressive, anti-economic and against the grain of the digital age”. It pointed out that illegal downloading was already punishable by a prison term of up to three years.

Marc Le Fur and Alain Suguenot, both deputies from Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party, said in a statement that they deplored the proposal to confer judicial -powers on an enforcement agency, saying the move “creates a truly exceptional jurisdiction for downloaders contravening the principle of equality before the law.”

This move is eerily similar to efforts afoot in the UK to also get ISPs to play a role in illegal file-sharing. Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said recently that intellectual property theft would no longer be tolerated. He has called on ISPs to take a “more activist role” in the problem of illegal file-sharing and that “If we can’t get voluntary arrangements we will legislate.”

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), for its part, has called for banning offenders from using the internet altogether.

There are similar efforts being attempted in the US, but so far they have been largely unsuccessful because ISPs know that consumers would simply drop them and choose an alternative if it was discovered that any content being shared was monitored. The issue also raises a large number of privacy concerns and technological hurdles, not the least of which being the difficulty in determining which 300MB file is a home movie or the latest episode of ‘Heroes.”

What’s so astonishing here is that this copyright enforcement mechanism is being carried out in France, a country that spawned democracy with its citizens’ storming of the Bastille prison. Now it’s working to circumvent democracy by placing ISPs and copyright holders in the position of judge and jury.

Content monitoring is a slippery slope to say the least, and when the govt and private business concerns collaborate to remove people from the “information superhighway” without due process of law being afforded them simply because industry profits are at risk, it doesn’t bode well for the future of information and the free flow of it necessary for an educated, and well informed society.

The French govt seems to think that as long as the people of France can download DRM-free French music then all is well. Too bad everything else – non-French music and content – suffers as a result.

I know France is perpetually ribbed for its penchant for capitulation and surrender, but it seems to certainly fulfill this caricature by refusing to look at the real problem – archaic copyright laws – and instead bowing to the music industry and others who would rather maintain the status quo. Rather than embrace and adapt to new technology like digital distribution they choose instead to hijack it and mold it to its own liking.

The French, who pride themselves on reflection and debate and of being a nation of people committed to the freedom of thought, speech, and of the unbridled power of the human spirit, should be among the loudest voices protesting this effort.

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
meyou123
meyou123

I think they will probably take this through the French court system. At least I hope they would try to do that anyway. Not just take it. If the French people take this lying down then they will have to live with the consequences. and here I thought the US was bad.....

Zoness
Zoness

I highly doubt the industries will hold up their part of the agreement I'd say the French are fucked unless they challenge these laws. A few years ago France was a powerhouse on networks like eDonkey.

Spurge
Spurge

I just shake my head hearing things like this. Laws just coming in without any debate. Disgusting.I hope the French protest. But i doubt they will it's like people everywhere has lost the will to fight governments because you know you can't win anymore.

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

And Orwell becomes close and closer to being a prophet rather then a fiction writer. Sadly people have allowed corporations to become too powerful and in the process very few checks have been put in place to prevent politicians from taking advantage of this fact. As times goes on and oppression continues there is bound to be an uprising. When this time will come is unclear. Could be 50 years could be 200 but as things stand somethings going to give eventually.

Mord_Sith
Mord_Sith

I say around 2020 myself but that's simply because I enjoy the irony of that point in time perhaps France needs another diminutive megalomaniac to free them from the corporations like they did the kings of old maybe they'll find their spine again amidst all the croissants that are laying about and call to verbal arms.Who knows either way it's one hell of a step back for freedom of speech and one hell of a step forward to tyranny.

altiopar
altiopar

lol they actually think we'll buy their stuff just because we can't download it? Most people I speak on the internet have ALREADY downloaded more stuff that they'll be able to watch/hear/read in a few life times.Besides since 99% of young people who use interent use p2p on a regular basis I'm guessing this is the end of internet.

Mord_Sith
Mord_Sith

Then they will declare that level of encryption illegal hell SSL encryption is illegal in some countries even if an encryption method is created for P2P only dollars to donuts it'll become illegal.

JosefStalin
JosefStalin

If all illegal files were removed from the internet and P2P ended I wouldnt be terribly bothered. I already have enough games and porn to last me a lifetime. Im just being greedy and wasting hard drive space by downloading anything at this point. I play a game once and then pack it away to be burned onto DVD's that I'll never re-visit.But as a kid I used to get some complete piece of crap like Clayfighter for the Genesis and play it for months. If a game that horrible was able to entertain me for so long surely these tens of thousands of games I now own should last me a lifetime. Its just about getting back to that mentality where a new game was actually something exciting to be played properly.And as for porn...same story really. I used to buy a copy of Oriental Dolls and that would keep me busy for months. Now I have gigs of hardcore porn that I watch once (if that) and then burn it and send it to my spindle never to be looked at again. I'm just hoarding the stuff for when the apocolypse comes I guess. Porn will become currency and I'll rule the wastelands.

reachnet
reachnet

In otherwords - copyright owners have failed to halt illegal filesharing - so the buck is passed to ISPs. The question then is how will ISPs comply with this frankly uncompliable and complete piece of bollocks legislation ( oh I forgot - Govt has discharged its current responsibilities - so they don't really care anymore ) ? They'll (ISPs) be forced to employ peeps whose "Job Function" is exactly the same as those peeps in the MPAA blah..blah.. who obviously can't really be arsed doing it anymore - can't say I blame em'.Will Govts EVER learn ? ( oops silly question - by the nature of how they function they NEVER will - they just keep employing dumbkopfs ). i.e. Don't mess with things you don't understand - human creativity that operates at an IQ level you can never hope to reach - but at least it keeps your wage packet rolling in.Oh BTW - to mountain_rage - have you ever thought that the whole MS Corp empire is actually a backlash against US Govt control ? When you really think about it-even MS CREATE (although the quality is sometimes up for debate - but that's not really the point). Creativity can't function under duress. When you think about it like that you might realise that MS are actually being the biggest proponents of free-speech possible - they're dealing with Govt based control-mechanisms just like the rest of us are - but so long as they keep CREATING (even if its CRUD) their system self-perpetuates - just like Govt based-systems do. The MS system survives/prospers on application of natural IQ to be creative. You've then got something very easy to understand - two "pyramid based" systems - one based on control the other based on creativity - NOT CONTROL (Capitalism) - perpetual battle. If you believe in reincarnation you could come back in a thousand years and you'll still see the same battle(s) going on - just the mechanisms used will have probably changed. The players may change but the game will ALWAYS remain the same. What's the moral ? Easy - IQ wants to CREATE. Govts who by definition of how they function - CAN'T create want CONTROL. Paradox - You can't control creativity (nor should you EVER try) ! You sure as hell better respect it when you recognise it though ! The only thing you can do is try and play cat n' mouse with it - if it goes against your own "agenda". Unfortunately for Govts the mice are often way more intelligent than the cats ! ;) Welcome to the world of evolution ! ;) Wonder if this is what the big man upstairs (i.e God) - yeah.. you know.. him.. had in mind ??? What scares the shit out of Govts ? Imagine a World (for example) where we all think and act like Bill Gates/JK Rowling ? You never know - it might happen one day. In an ideal World it's where we'd all be - but we're not quite there yet ! Some of us are working on it though ! ;)

Mord_Sith
Mord_Sith

M$ ruling over us being an ideal world dear god that is going to give me nightmares tonight how could you even say such an abhorrent thing!Unfortunately the creativity that capitalism breeds is not creativity to benefit all it's creativity to make a buck so yes we see allot of people using technology and creative expression as a means to make money not as a means to improve the quality of life but to try and sell some new gizmo to the shmuck down the road because it's got a better wirrleygig on it.Take a hard look at medical treatments that are available and what doctors prescribe instead of giving them a remedy for some of the less life threatening things they give them something that will tie them to pills for the rest of their natural lives sure they're giving relief however they are not curing them because they can get more greenbacks outta them.Here's another example slipped disks some time back my father had a mishap involving me wrenching on his arm when I was a kid and popped out one of his disks when he went to a massage therapist he got it worked out and it never bothered him again. Later on he slipped a different disk this time though the therapist was nowhere in sight so he went to a chiropractor hoping to get it fixed however they STILL haven't gotten it right and if he winds up doing anything with large amounts of strain he pops a disk (He's a carpenter by trade so that hinders him quite a bit.)You tell me that there isn't something wrong with those two pictures...

SeaPlankton
SeaPlankton

"The French who pride themselves on reflection and debate and of being a nation of people committed to the freedom of thought speech and of the unbridled power of the human spirit should be among the loudest voices protesting this effort." - Yet despite this hyperbole they still will kick you off the 'net for piracy. Well the cheek! Que sera sera. It's got nothing to do with Americans so why not get lost and get out of Europe too? (Just an idea.) Keep the internet. Will swap IBM for Nokia.

skylinegtrztune
skylinegtrztune

they should control Civil Unrest in the French Suburbs AND RACISM b4 anything else..France is burning

Gamer8585
Gamer8585

Actually this might be good for P2P. Allow me to explain my seemingly psychotic statement: They will only be able to ban people from the internet if they can prove that they downloaded illegally. So we may see a lot of French computer whizzes scramble to create better encryption tech and other new data obscuring techniques. If so the tech will spread and it may soon be impossible to tell what data is what or even locate with any certainty is point of origin/destination.Then again the French might just mass strike and obstruct the workings of government and business until this law is repealed....its what they do.



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