Three-strikes piracy bill gets second chance

29 Apr 2009

France is at it again: trying to get the three-strikes rule implemented for those proved to be illegally downloading copyright content, that is.

This proposal was already mooted (and backed by Frecnch President Nicolas Sarkozy) but rejected.

However, the willingness to bring it back for discussion is as telling as the recent decision by Eircom here in Ireland to comply with the Irish music industry body IRMA’s legal request to implement a ‘three-strikes’ rule against broadband customers found to be illegally downloading copyright material.

While laws surrounding such issues are not yet set in stone, different countries have reacted differently to the concept of three strikes, and whose responsibility it is to monitor and implement such a bill.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI),an organisation representing the global music industry, has talked about the responsibility of internet service providers (ISPs) in preventing piracy in the recent past: “A turning tide of opinion is one thing – a concrete programme of action is another. There is only one acceptable moment for ISPs to start taking responsibility for protecting content – and that moment is now.”

“After years of prevarication in the discussion, the French Government’s decision to seize the day is deeply refreshing. It shows an urgency of approach that is badly needed in every market where music is today being massively devalued by piracy,” said IFPI chairman and CEO, John Kennedy.

When the French bill was defeated in January of this year, it was partially attributed to a low turnout of politicians.

This time around, amendments such as getting rid of the clause that those banned must continue to pay their bills may increase the likeliness of pushing it through.

By Marie Boran