French Court Defangs Plan to Crack Down on Internet Piracy

The highest constitutional body in France on Wednesday defanged the government’s plan to cut off the Internet connections of digital pirates, saying the authorities had no right to do so without obtaining court approval.The decision, by the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation approved by Parliament before it goes into effect, is a major setback for the music and movie industries, which had praised the French law as a model solution to the problem of illegal file-sharing. see:French court savages “three-strikes” law, tosses it out
France’s groundbreaking “three strikes” law that would disconnect repeat Internet file-swappers has been overturned by the country’s Constitutional Council. “Innocent until proven guilty” still means something in France.The French Constitutional Council has ripped into the new Création et Internet law which would disconnect repeat online copyright infringers, calling the basic premise unconstitutional. “Innocent until proven guilty” remains a central principle of French law, and it cannot be bypassed simply by creating a new nonjudicial authority.Better known as the “three strikes” law, Création et Internet set up a High Authority in France that would oversee a graduated response program designed to curb online piracy. Rightsholders would investigate, submit complaints to the High Authority (called HADOPI, after its French acronym), and the Authority would take action. Warnings would be passed to ISPs, who would forward them to customers; after two such warnings, the subscriber could be disconnected and placed on a nationwide “no Internet” blacklist. court curbs disputed Internet piracy rules
France’s top constitutional court on Wednesday seriously weakened a law backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy that was aimed at punishing Internet pirates.Sarkozy’s ruling majority last month approved legislation that set up an authority to track illegal Internet downloading, giving it the power to cut off web access for repeat offenders.But the constitutional court ruled that this body should be allowed only to issue warnings and that any decision to cut access must be made only by a judge. Court Kills ‘Three Strikes’ Law
France’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a key portion of a recently enacted law that gave the government the ability to disconnect Internet users who illegally download music and movies. Under the so-called “three strikes” regime, which President Nicolas Sarkozy endorsed and lawmakers approved in May, users who download content without paying for it would get an e-mail from the government followed by a letter and a third warning before their Web connectivity is cut off for as long as one year. Concerns about a similar proposal permeated talks between the United States and a handful of trading partners as they work toward completion of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. French legal body blocks Internet piracy law [AFP]
France’s highest legal authority on Wednesday struck down a key provision of a contested Internet piracy law that set up a new state agency to cut off offenders from the web.The ruling is an embarrassing setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy, who championed the adoption of the tough new legislation last month.

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