Friday, November 23, 2007

France threatens to cut pirates adrift

Whoever would have guessed that if you put the head of a record shop in charge of a copyright review, the end results would be fixated on trying to preserve the status quo?

That's what's happened in France, where Nicholas Sarkozy's government has adopted suggestions from a review run by Denis Olivennes, head of the FNAC chain, that will see tight punishments for file-sharers. A proposed government body will demand ISP user details, with heavy users being investigated on the assumption that they might be up to something wrong.

We're not quite sure how the presumption of guilt sits with the usual way things are meant to work.

If you're "caught" three times, you'll be cast off the internet.

It's not just Olivennes' financial interest in eking out the sale of physical products for as long as possible which suggests he might not have been the most impartial chap to carry out such a review: he wrote Free is Theft which, according to the FT:

accused ISPs of exploiting an abundance of pirated material on the web to recruit new subscribers. "It is a little like . . . big store chains putting out free stocks of stolen CDs and DVDs to attract new customers into their shops," he wrote.

Even although, of course, it isn't.


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