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French Senate passes bill to disconnect filesharers

Three strikes for les gratuittards

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The French Senate has overwhelmingly voted in favor of disconnecting Internet pirates, despite European Parliament's direct opposition to the punishment.

Under France's proposed three-strikes or "graduated response" law, Internet users accused of stealing content online for the first time would receive a cautioning email. A second time results in a warning letter delivered by post, and a third claim requires the user's Internet service provider (ISP) to cut access for a year.

Many ISPs have been fighting such proposals because it thrusts responsibility of policing online copyrights on their shoulders.

The legislation passed on a vote of 297 to 15, but still needs approval by the National Assembly before it becomes law.

French legislators also rejected an amendment authored by senator Bruno Retailleau that would replace the bill's Internet kill-switch punishment with a monetary fine.

France has suggested the three-strikes scheme as an amendment to a wider, pan-European Telecoms Package back in July, but the amendment was ultimately rejected. In fact, European Parliament later passed an amendment that specifically condemns using disconnection as punishment – although the vote was non-binding and toothless.

Perhaps the EU could first try sending France a cautioning email... ®

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