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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Les enfant de la Patrie" won´t be able to infringe copyrights

"Despite public protests the French Parliament has passed a controversial new law that will see alleged copyright infringers disconnected from the Internet. In addition, France’s Minister of Culture Christine Albanel has stated that under the new law, ISPs may be ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

In order to clamp down on piracy the French have passed a new law requiring Internet service providers to cut off Internet access for persistent offenders. Under the new legislation ISPs have to warn alleged copyright infringers twice, and if they they ignore these warnings their Internet access is terminated for up to a year.

One of the biggest problems with the new law is that copyright infringers will be identified only by an IP-address, which will undoubtedly lead to many false accusations. Those who want to prove their innocence have only one option, namely, to install a spyware application that will monitor their every move on the Internet and report it back to the authorities. Hardly practical.

The law goes much further than disconnecting alleged file-sharers though. In addition it is now possible to take “any action” in order to put a halt to copyright infringement. Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel, explicitly named The Pirate Bay as one of the sites that could be easily blocked under the new law.

Thus, without having to provide evidence that a website is engaging in illegal activities, it can still be blocked. Potentially this could mean that access to BitTorrent sites is disallowed in France, as well as access to sites like YouTube or perhaps even Google.

In summary, the new law introduces unlimited options for the copyright holders to go after sites and people that may or may not infringe copyright, without having to actually proove that the accused are guilty. To date, this is by far the most aggressive and unbalanced piece of copyright legislation that we’ve seen."
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