EU Strikes Off France’s Three Strikes, But French Will Go Ahead Anyway

European parliamentarians have voted for wide-ranging telecoms regulation reform, including an amendment that would force ISPs to go to court before disconnecting alleged filesharers at content owners’ behest. It’s a measure that threatens France’s three-strikes policy, authored by FNAC chair Denis Olivennes, under which ISPs would warn, warn again, then disconnect those found downloading illegally.

But France’s new toolkit il n’est pas morte (it’s not dead) – culture minister Christine Albanel (via AFP) said the vote “does not preclude (our) approach against piracy“, labeling “the refusal of a preventive and educational approach” “archaic“. France’s music publishers’ body Snep said France’s law “is still relevant, despite the European Parliament’s vote” and a host of other content owners’ umbrellas (via AFP) are full-square behind it, “deploring” the vote. The bill will now go to the council and commission.

Guy Bono, the MEP who had authored the amendment, said EC telcoms commissioner Viviane Reding wanted to scrub out his paragraph, something he said is “all the more regrettable and shameful because it aims to defeat the position of a very large majority of a democratic assembly, elected by European citizens”.

France has blazed a trail with its proactive, pro-content internet, prompting several other European countries to follow suit with their own variants. In the UK, though the British Phonographic Industry would like to reach a similar situation, in which file-sharers are eventually disconnected, the memorandum of understanding it recently signed with ISPs and the Motion Picture Association of America refers first to an education campaign, consisting of warning letters amongst other materials, and not to any disconnection initiative.

(Photo: AJ, some rights reserved)