Feeds

French pass 'three strikes' file-sharing law

Oh merde

Security for virtualized datacentres

Along the way, the debate has excited a degree of passion amongst the main protagonists. The author of the law and its primary supporter in the Assembly, Culture Minister Christine Albanel has repeatedly accused those who download illegally of being "pirates". This got up the nose of Socialist Deputy Christian Paul, who proposed that the word "pirate" be henceforth banished from debate on the internet. The worst crime that individuals could be accused of, he said, was "counterfeit" (contrefaçon).

Meanwhile, the tax status of tarnished French media idol Johnny Hallyday led to an amendment that will forever after be known as the "Hallyday clause". Having made a fortune in the French film and music scene, Johnny Hallyday now lives in Switzerland, where he manages to pay the absolute minimum of taxes due on earnings from his works in France.

The "Hallyday clause" therefore stipulates that illegal downloading where the author of the downloaded work resides in a tax haven – or is otherwise avoiding the proper payment of taxes – will not be subject to the same sanction as it would otherwise attract.

There is still the small issue of whether the law itself is legal. Nicolas Maubert, an attorney with law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel, has argued that the law might still be challenged by France's judicial body, as blocking internet access could breach constitutional protections guaranteed by the French Constitution.

A further obstacle to the loi Hadopi may yet be the European Parliament, which this week voted to guarantee internet access to all citizens as a fundamental human right.

Even if there are challenges to the ultimate sanction – cutting an individual off from the internet – the Hadopi still has the power to exact fines, pass injunctions and set down other penalties.

So even if being deprived of the internet is not absolutely guaranteed, French surfers who persistently download content illegally could soon find themselves in the same position as 26-year-old postman Sébastien Budin, who was fined 130,000 Euros in March for running a website that allegedly encouraged others to file-share and participate in illegal downloading.

His crime was to run a site called stationdivx.com, on which he had plaed various film files as well as passwords that could be used to access commercial download sites. A Lyon court was not amused, although Budin is still protesting his innocence. He said: "I am not a law-breaker. I was inciting people to download, but I did not make films available to them. I am revolted at the hypocrisy of this judgment. You can find the same passwords on Google."

It seems likely that this will be by no means the last such case to emerge from France in the months ahead. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.