Thursday, June 11, 2009

French Courts Strike Down 3 Strikes..

.. which leaves you wondering what next? 4 Strikes? 3 Strikes and a Baby?

Pangloss is in HK with limited Internet so for now merely a quote from excellent Guardian piece on the story:

" Internet users around the world should be cheering the news that French judges have struck down the country's proposed 'three strikes' law for alleged filesharers - and not just because they declared that access to online communications is a human right.

Ever since the French law was first proposed in November 2007, six months after Nicolas Sarkozy took presidential power in France, governments around the world have been building a house of cards surrounding the concept.

Everybody's considered the same law: Britain, New Zealand, Ireland and even America are among the countries that have proposed their own version of three strikes - the idea that anyone thought to have illegally shared files online will get two warnings, before having their broadband connection cut off on the third accusation.

But here's the problem: each proposal has a disturbing tendency to point back to the others in an attempt to shore up its case. I've had conversations with various officials, and read documents from most of the major initiatives, that reference the French law as a precedent, or point out that the British are considering a similar rule."

Legally, if the French courts have truely held that Internet access is a human right, this may be enormously significant, both to EU law as well as to domestic French law and to other areas than sanctions against filesharing. I looks forward to (hopefully?) seeing an English translation of the opinion soon.

EDIT: more comment from Technollama here.