French gov't plans to disconnect content pirates

The French government plans to extend measures to deal with digital piracy, cutting off the Internet connections of those suspected of illegal filesharing.

The French government has a plan for cutting music and film piracy on the Internet: cut off the pirates' Internet access.

The penalty is part of a range of measures to deal with the unauthorized copying of music and video online proposed by the French Ministry of Culture on Friday including watermarking content, tracking surfers' activities, and creating a registry of those accused by copyright holders of piracy.

Minister for culture Christine Albanel said the problem of digital piracy was "urgent" -- despite the introduction last year of a controversial law that made unauthorized file-sharing a criminal offense punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of US$45,000.

"We can't accept for much longer that artists be deprived of the fruits of their work," she said.

The government has won agreement for its latest proposals from the French media industry, which will implement the watermarking measures and make legal downloads of films more widely and rapidly available. Albanel signed the agreement Friday with TV channels, Internet service providers (ISPs), and groups representing filmmakers, authors and musicians rights groups.

In return for the support of these organizations, the government will create a new agency to monitor Internet traffic for the presence of watermarked files and handle complaints from rights holders. Anyone whose Internet connection is used to download such files could receive an official warning from their ISP. A second offense could result in their contract with the ISP being terminated and their name being added to a registry of offenders

The register could potentially lead to a new class of digital have-nots unable to find a new ISP, at a time when the government is increasingly moving services for citizens online.

Consumer rights groups rejected the new measures. Cutting off Internet connections without a fair trial flouts the constitutional principal that citizens are "innocent until proven guilty," said the Union of French Consumers (UFC).

The plans are "repressive" and will lead to the creation of a private Internet police force, said Frederic Couchet, a spokesman for APRIL, an association that promotes and researches free and open-source computing.

The ministry also recommended that record labels stop using DRM (Digital Rights Management) systems to restrict the devices on which music downloads can be played.

However, the recommendation lacks concrete measures, the UFC said, and would not deal with the problem of DRM destroying the usefulness and thus the commercial value of copyright works.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?