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June 10, 2009

French 3 Strikes Law Struck Down

The French law Création et Internet, also known as the three strikes law, is struck down by the French Constitutional Council.  Ironically, it only took two strikes, it's parliamentary defeat on initial consideration, and this decision, to be disconnected from French law.  As the law would operate, content owners would investigate and send complaints to to an authority set up under the law.  The authority would then contact ISPs who would send letters to customers warning them of their illegal activities.  The customer would be disconnected from the Internet on the third notice.  Simple, clean, and endorsed by Paul McGuiness, manager for U2, who thinks the world of graduated response laws as the model for protecting content, or is it really an analog business model?

The Constitutional Council took issue with the law's apparent disregard for the principle of innocent until proven guilty.  This is so even though the law is extrajudicial.  The Council also took into account the importance of the Internet as a means of participating in a democracy.  The French government is naturally disappointed in the outcome.  The New York Times reported that Christine Albanel, the French culture minister would suggest remaking the law to account for the Council's decision, bringing it into a court's purview.  If so, that means a mechanism such as the one in the United States where the RIAA pursues file sharers in court.  With or without ISP cooperation, that is a painful and expensive process for the content owners.  

Albanel added that warning letters would go out in fall in any event.  This story in Ars Technica suggests that the number of people who would be intimidated by those letters would be small.  The story reports on a study conducted in the U.K. suggested that without sanctions, the number of people who would take heed of warning letters would drop from 70% to 33%.  The British government is still considering the issue of a legal response to file sharing.

Here is the reports from the New York Times and Ars Technica about the Court's decision.  The Ars story has links to the text of the Constitutional Council's decision, which, of course, is in French.

June 10, 2009 | Permalink

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Comments

This law is a good one to deal with criminals

Posted by: Malcoy-boy | Jul 24, 2009 12:44:18 AM

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