He’s close to honouring his commitment to Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music, and Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney to, “punish digital pirates with the possible suspension of their Internet connections, a little more than a month after the same body had rejected the proposal in a surprise vote,” says the New York Times.
“The assembly, the lower house of Parliament, voted 296 to 233 in favor of the bill,” says the story.
However, the victory was hardly unanimous, and the Fat Lady has yet to sing.
“Before the measure goes into effect, it also faces several potential hurdles. Assuming it is passed by the Senate, it would be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which has the power to reject proposed legislation, something that happens relatively infrequently,” says the story, adding:
“Groups that favor an unfettered Internet are also vowing to challenge the measure through the courts, citing a recent declaration by the European Parliament that it is illegal for a European Union country to sever Internet access without the approval of a court.”
‘ … the saga doesn’t end there’
Between those who argue in favour of the bill in the name of copyright, and those who consider that the idea of cutting off internet access is an attack on basic freedoms, the debate is far from over,” France 24 states, adding »»»
Socialist MP and former French culture minister Jack Lang, the only opposition MP who has said he will vote in favour of the bill, succinctly summed up what is at stake. It is not easy, I acknowledge, neither for the left, nor for the government, to reconcile two important freedoms, the freedom of internet users and the freedom of creators and artists, he said on French TV channel TF1 on April 28.
And the saga doesn`t end there. On May 6, the European Parliament adopted, by a large majority, an amendment to the telecoms package (a bill which aims to harmonise telecommunications in the EU), stipulating that only a court ruling can allow a person`s internet access to be cut off. And yet, the French bill would allow not a judicial authority but rather an independent administrative authority, baptised Hadopi, to decide whether to cut off a web user`s internet connection.
The fact that the European Parliament voted for this amendment does not prevent France from adopting the anti-piracy bill. But the latter would become null and void if in a less likely hypothesis the Council of the European Union, composed of ministers from the 27 EU member states, adopted the amendment in question. The next Council is planned for June 12.
If it squeaks through, a new taxpayer-funded agency will be created to help the cartels victimise their own customers in France.
“Approval in the upper house, the Senate, is expected Wednesday,” says the NYT, and, “The sponsor of the bill in the National Assembly, Franck Riester, has said that the first penalties could occur next year.”