French House defeats three-strikes Internet piracy bill

Paris (France) – Last week, it was widely reported that an anti-piracy bill being considered had adopted a three-strike policy that would force Internet providers to turn off Internet access for anyone caught trading in pirated material more than twice. The bill was rejected today, however, though the national assembly promises a revamped version in the near future.

Called The Creation and Internet Law, it would have been one of the world’s toughest laws against Internet piracy. France’s Senate had previously passed the bill, sending it over to the lower house where it was defeated today by a 21 to 15 vote.

The law would’ve given stiff fines and prison sentences for three-strike offenders. Fines of up to 300,000 Euros ($400,000 dollars) and three years in prison, just for downloading illegal music, film, TV or other content more than twice.

In Sweden recently, a similar bill took place which makes it easier for content pirates to be prosecuted. As a result of the law going into effect, it was reported that Sweden’s Internet usage had declined by 40%.

With reports today that 97% of all emails are spam, and the recognition that in Sweden alone at least 40% of all bandwidth is used for illegal means, the reality is the Internet is ripe with criminals all trading in intangible items. Bits of data flowing back and forth from hard drive to hard drive, all the while risking prison sentences for either the thrill, or the small amounts of money that can be made with such endeavors. Personally, I’d choose to be a farmer before engaging in such actions.

See the original AFP article republished on MSNBC.