Sarkozy brings back crazy three-strikes Internet law

The French "Three Strikes" law is back on -- a law that can punish you for being accused of copyright infringement by cutting off your internet connection, fining you, and putting you in prison. It also criminalizes offering free internet access because pirates might use it.

Ed Felten nailed it: this is like a law that lets publishers take away all reading material from you and everyone who lives in your house if you're accused (without evidence) of infringing on three books.

Not content to let the idea die, President Nicolas Sarkozy's administration reworked the law in hopes of making it amenable to the Council--instead of HADOPI deciding on its own to cut off users on the third strike, it will now report offenders to the courts. A judge can then choose to ban the user from the Internet, fine him or her €300,000 (according to the AFP), or hand over a two-year prison sentence.

Those who are merely providing an Internet connection to dirty pirates can be fined €1,500 and/or receive a month-long temp ban from the online world. (A group of French hackers has already begun to work on software that cracks the passwords on locked WiFi networks so that there's an element of plausible deniability when law enforcement tries to go after home network owners.)

French "3 strikes" law returns, now with judicial oversight!

(Thanks, Jeremie!)

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