France’s Three-Strikes Move Closer, On Collision Course With Europe

imageFrance’s national assembly on Thursday voted in favour of the most hotly-contested part of a proposed new anti-piracy bill. The Creation And Internet bill was drawn up in 2007 by Fnac retail chain chair Denis Oliviennes for culture minister Christine Albanel’s (pictured) ruling UMP and would create an agency to warn, warn again, then disconnect from their ISPs customers found repeatedly downloading copyrighted content illegally.

The bill as a whole was accepted by France’s senate in October, after the government minimised reading time by declaring it an emergency legislation, and is now being read, section-by-section, by the assembly. Politicians voted for the section that would disconnect customers for up to a year, but disallowed a section that would compel them to continue paying their subscription. It’s strongly supported by rights holders including the music industry, but not liberties campaigners who say the so-called HADOPI enforcement agency would be allowed to act against consumers without proving their guilt.

France’s implementation of this measure will set it on a collision course with the European Parliament. Euro-MPs previously voted for an amendment to telecoms reforms that would compel ISPs to seek a court order before disconnecting customers. The amendment was rejected but, re-inserted as a new amendment, is set for a second reading in the next month. In a separate bill on internet freedom, MEPs again voted down a rival amendment that would have allowed such action. Britain