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France and Finland are preparing to crack down on illegal firesharing with tougher punishments for hardcore miscreants.

Finnish authorities recently developed new anti piracy laws which would allow record companies to place names of convicted file sharers in major newspapers, and then charge them for the ad. The cost to print the ads could exceed regular court fees or fines. The measure would only be decided on a case by case basis and not be part of the criminal case itself.

Earlier this year, Finnish anti-piracy organisation CIAPC and IFPI Finland filed their first criminal complaints against 28 alleged uploaders of music on peer-to-peer services.

Individuals in France who ignore copyright by downloading illegal music files will also be subject to a harsher "graduated" enforcement procedure, according to Agence France Presse.

If uploaders keep ignoring warnings, they can be put on trial. A new anti piracy bill that is being examined by French MPs would also allow record companies to include technical measures to stop users from directly making copies.

Consumer groups such as UFC-Que Choisir are concerned that the law will stifle the distribution of unprotected works on the Internet. The new bill still needs to be discussed in the French upper house.®

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