France to ban illegal downloaders from using the internet under three-strikes rule
Anyone who persists in illicit downloading of music or films will be barred from broadband access under a controversial new law that makes France a pioneer in combating internet piracy.
"There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone," President Sarkozy told his Cabinet yesterday as it endorsed the "three-strikes-and-you're-out" scheme that from next January will hit illegal downloaders where it hurts.
Under a cross-industry agreement, internet service providers (ISPs) must cut off access for up to a year for third-time offenders.
In a classical French approach the scheme will be enforced by a new £15 million a year state agency, to be called Hadopi (high authority for copyright protection and dissemination of works on the internet).
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