French Natl Assembly Approves Three Strikes Bill

About a month after rejecting the same law, the French National Assembly on Tuesday approved a three-strikes downloading law, 296 votes in favor to 233 against. The bill now moves to the Senate where approval is expected in a Wednesday vote.

HADOPI, named after the agency that will be formed if the law passes, "Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet" (High Authority of Diffusion of the Art Works and Protection of the (Copy)Rights on Internet), was expected to pass in April, but overconfidence by the Sarkozy's UMP party led to a defeat, 21 - 15.

Under HADOPI, ISPs have to warn their customers twice that they are accused of infringing copyright, and if both warnings are ignored, Internet access for that subscriber will be terminated for up to a year. Interestingly, the subscriber will be forced to continue paying their ISP bill throughout the suspension, too.

Thing is, just last week the European Parliament passed a measure prohibiting EU governments from terminating a user's Internet access without a court order. Seems like we might have an EU bruhaha over anything France passes.

The European Parliament also adopted an amendment that said, "Internet access is a fundamental right such as the freedom of expression and the freedom to access information."

Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, the pro-civil liberties group, said in response to the above, "... the French ‘three strikes’ scheme, HADOPI, is dead already.”

We guess that we will see what we shall see.