16. July 2013
The French government has discontinued the practice of blocking internet access to people convicted of illegal downloading on file sharing websites.
File sharing and piracy
In 2010 the French government under President Nicolas Sarkozy adopted legal measures which allowed courts to hand down internet bans to individuals convicted file sharing. Users who exchanged copyright-protect films and music would initially receive a warning via e-mail and then by registered letter.
If internet users continued to use file sharing software, the authorities were able to block internet access for between two months and one year.
The so-called Hadopi law has been controversial ever since being introduced and was criticised for infringing individuals’ freedom.
However, the law has not had significant impact. In June 2013 powers were invoked for the first time to ban an individual from using the internet for two weeks.
Private individuals no longer face internet ban
The controversial French practice has now been discontinued.
Individuals who exchange copyright-protected material via file sharing software will no longer face an internet ban. Instead, private individuals could be fined up to €1,500, increasing to €3,000 for repeated offending.
File sharing a commercial websites
Internet bans of up to one year will remain a punishment option for commercial file sharing websites offering illegal material for download.
The French government is reported as intending to make commercial operations the focus of pursuing copyright infringements and new measures in the battle against internet piracy are now being developed.
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Categories: Internet Law