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Technology & Innovation

Parlez-vous Copyright?

New French law will give illegal downloaders two chances to stop pirating before they are called before a judge.

“The first effects of France’s new law against internet piracy will begin to be felt as the new year begins. The law was passed after a long struggle in parliament, and in the teeth of bitter opposition from groups opposed to internet restrictions. Illegal downloaders will be sent a warning e-mail, then a letter if they continue, and finally must appear before a judge if they offend again. The judge can impose a fine, or suspend their access to the internet. The Creation and Internet Bill set up a new state agency – the Higher Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (Hadopi). The law was backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy and the entertainment industry. Its supporters say it is a model for other countries around the world that want to protect their creative industries and make clear to ordinary web-users that not everything is for free. Michel Thiolliere, a French senator and member of the Hadopi, says that if the law is explained properly, then people understand it.”


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