French government nukes crazy Internet law in open revolt against Sarkozy

Glyn sez, "French politicians have unexpected voted against a law that would have forced ISPs to disconnect any one accused of copyright infringement. No proof that would stand up in court would have been need. The final vote was 25 to 15 in the poorly attended National Assembly session."

JZ adds, "This is a formidable victory for all citizens. This vote shows that it is still possible to make oneself heard. It is a fantastic example of how to use the Net to fight against those who are trying to control it. Individual liberties, in the end, have not been sacrificed to try to preserve the corporate interests of some obsolete industries. The HADOPI law has been interred earlier than expected.Nonetheless, La Quadrature du Net asks its supportes to remain vigilant. The rejection of HADOPI doesn't mean the end of the government's attempts to control the Internet. We must continue to make use of our collective intelligence and the power of the net to preserve justice and the truth."

Despite the approval of the French recording industry and prominent musicians, including Johnny Hallyday, some attacked the measure.

Civil liberties campaigners and members of the Socialist party said the new surveillance powers were tantamount to "the criminalisation of an entire generation".

Others had said it could end up punishing the wrong people, for instance parents whose children download in secret or employers whose staff use computers at work to break the law.

Breaking ranks from many of their artistic colleagues, a group of French directors and actors including Catherine Deneuve issued an open letter of protest this week.

"The law comes in response to legitimate concerns which we all share – concerns that we will see our work devalued and degraded," they wrote. "However this law … is merely imposing a punitive system whose constitutionality is dubious and practicality unclear."

French MPs reject controversial plan to crack down on illegal downloaders

(Thanks, JZ and Glyn!)