France anti-piracy law now in effect

A controversial anti-piracy law in France is now in effect, with alleged file sharers facing fines or internet banishment if caught downloading and sharing copyrighted material.

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been successful with John Doe lawsuits against file sharers — but virtually no one has faced being kicked off the Internet.

The Higher Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (Hadopi) agency will be responsible for keeping copyright infringers in check.  French President Nicolas Sakozy has the support of the music and movie copyright holders in the country.

“The Internet is a fabulous world, but it needs rules, if you want to get cinema, music or video games in the future,” said Michel Thiolliere, a French senator, in a statement to BBC.  “What we think is that after the first message… about two-thirds of the people (will) stop their illegal usages of the Internet.  After the second message more than 95% will finish with that bad usage.”

MusicPirate

As you would expect, there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the matter.  Many bloggers and Internet users believe the new French anti-piracy law is far too draconian for use in 2010.  Technological breakthroughs and sneaky file sharers will still be able to easily circumvent the new laws.

British Internet users may have to deal with similar legislation in the near future, as lawmakers there also hope to kick pirates off the Internet.  Furthermore, the new anti-piracy measures in place will raise the cost of Internet subscriptions, which may force as many as 40,000 BT subscribers offline.

In the United States, the RIAA has been unsuccessful in implementing a three-strikes law, but they are expected to continue lobbying the US government in 2010.