In Europe, a Push to Take Away Piracy Suspects’ Internet Access

Prodded by the music industry and government, some Internet service providers are reluctantly exploring the adoption of an old-fashioned shunning ritual as the ultimate 21st century punishment: banishing errant online users.But even as service providers discreetly test “three-strikes” warning systems that can result in the disconnection of Internet users who illegally download copyrighted music or movies, resistance is building.Lawmakers in the European Parliament, in a symbolic vote Thursday, expressed their opposition to the three-strikes approach, which has been championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and explored by governments of other countries, from Britain to Japan to Australia. Many consumer groups are also fighting such proposals, and at least one British service provider is promising a rebellion.

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