France Clashes With Euro-MPs On Three-Strikes As UK Looks On

The European Parliament is standing up to France’s “graduated response” plan to tackle internet piracy, which would disconnect illegal downloaders after three warnings. Though the European Council Of Ministers withdrew a September parliamentary amendment to the EU’s Telecoms Reform Package that would have forced ISPs to get a court order before disconnecting, a separate bill, Strengthening Security And Fundamental Freedoms On The Internet, has thrown focus on three-strikes again…

A group of MEPs proposed an amendment to this bill that replaced the words “(internet) access should not be denied as a sanction by governments or private companies” with “internet access should not be abused for illegal activities”. France’s government this week supported the amendment, arguing: “Contracts between ISPs and their subscribers should be able, as is the case today, to provide for the termination of the subscription if they do not pay their bills or engage in inappropriate use of their access.”

But MEPs voted down the amendment, said French MEP Guy Bono in an emailed note: “Not a chance. MEPs resisted pressure from the French authorities. The goal for the UMP (France’s governing party) was to adopt the amendment to weaken the European Parliament’s position at a crucial time.”

Bono was the parliamentarian who introduced the original opposition to three-strikes in the Telecoms Reform Package. Despite its removal by the council, Bono also says the opposition is being reintroduced as a separate amendment for the package’s second reading.

France has previously said it will go ahead with its efforts, which were recommended in a report authored by Fnac entertainment retail chain chairman Denis Oliviennes and will create an enforcement agency with a