France: Suspension of Internet access envisaged to tackle Internet piracy

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A report commissioned by the French Culture Ministry in September to detail the findings of a "mission on combating illegal downloading and for the development of legal offers of musical, audiovisual and film works" was submitted to the government on 23 November 2007.

It proposes to protect authorship rights through the setting up of an independent administrative authority with powers to cut off Internet access and suspend subscriptions to Internet service providers' (ISPs) services for repeat offenders, if they illegally download music or images.

Forty companies and associations active in the publishing and film artists' and production sector, as well as major ISPs active in France, signed up to the Olivennes report (named after Denis Olivennes, its author and president/managing director of French book and music department store giant Fnac), described by its author as a system that is "dissuasive rather than repressive", in response to the widespread practice of illegal downloading of material subject to authorship rights, and to counter its negative effects on music and film sales.

Opponents of the plan have responded by describing the initiative as a "repressive escalation" and as belying a "temptation of permanent surveillance of the Net, independently of any crime or judicial procedure".

Olivennes report, 23.11.2007 (pdf)

Agreement between public authorities, authorship rights holders in the audio-visual sector, television, cinema and music, and ISPs and technical service providers (pdf)

List of signatories (pdf)

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