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France leads the way in common sense

France leads the way in common sense

Sharing media files illegally will simply get your internet access removed in France, rather than a huge fine from these guys.

The BBC is reporting that France has just passed legislation that returns a bit of common sense to the world of casual online piracy. Instead of being sued for hundreds of millions or sent away to serve longer sentences than rapists or drug dealers, the crime of swapping a few songs or movies online will first be a slap on the hand and being told not to do it again, then if they persist they will have their Internet access revoked.

From the BBC: Denis Olivennes, head of the French chain store FNAC, who chaired the committee said current penalties for piracy - large fines and years in jail - were "totally disproportionate" for those young people who do file-share illegally.

As great as this sounds, it also means that the new law will allow Internet service provides to quietly nose traffic being sent and received by customers and forward persistent offenders to an independent watchdog that confirms the informations and passes the details onto the fuzz.

The enterprising among you will already have deciphered ways around this, such as certain types of encryption, but it does mean that the laymen is more likely to get caught if ISPs are now sniffing the packets that directly pass under their noses. We know that simply banning file sharing doesn't work as there are plenty of legitimate uses for it and no doubt privacy advocates will be along shortly to voice concern about the invasion of our data.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is behind the law, of which, part of it is to bring Movies to DVD faster and to encourage DRM-free music to be more widely available.

So is this a good thing - the punishment finally mirrors the crime committed, rather than having the four letter MAFIAA suing everyone randomly for big numbers, or is it just another erosion of complete online privacy at the expense of law enforcement for a few content producers? What about if you "borrow" a neighbour's WiFi connection - is wireless encryption now a legality? Or what about free hotspots? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

24 Comments

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Flibblebot 26th November 2007, 11:09 Quote
It's a step in the right direction, but I'm not sure I'd like my ISP snooping on my traffic.
How's the snooping going to work, anyway? It'll have to be automated, and who's going to make sure that no false positives get reported? Or, as Bindi said in the article, that it is actually the owner of the line who's doing the sharing?

Sounds good in principle, I don't think it'll work in practice.
AcidJiles 26th November 2007, 11:25 Quote
Commons sense in what to do with those caught but pushing privacy too far with the method of catching. What would really reduce privacy is proper services providing the tv, movies and music people want at a reasonable price drm-free.
DXR_13KE 26th November 2007, 13:02 Quote
finally some logical anti-piracy law....
impar 26th November 2007, 15:40 Quote
Greetings!

Since ISPs will be inpecting the traffic, might as well clean all spammers and virus from it.

Also, the law also specifies that DRM ends and all movies must be released in DVD six months after the opening day in theatres.
DXR_13KE 26th November 2007, 15:54 Quote
as long as they are cheaper....
C-Sniper 26th November 2007, 17:22 Quote
well atleast it keeps the jail population down and our tax money in more appropriate places.
liratheal 26th November 2007, 18:05 Quote
The article claims it'd only be persistent downloaders that get smacked in the face with the law, but how does the ISP determine whether or not the user is persistently downloading, with monkeys like the RIAA and assorted other heavy handed groups threatening ISPs rather than the ISPs customer? Okay, that's only really been seen with torrent sites tracking 'illegal' files so far, but how are we to be sure that someone won't threaten to bury an ISP in paperwork for lawsuits if they don't disclose everyone downloading files that're suspicious in nature?

I don't know if anyone'll be able to read that and make heads or tails of it, but hey. I'm open to questions :B
Kipman725 26th November 2007, 19:10 Quote
I wish the RIAA etc would just get the hell off the internets... I rember the good old days before cascading style sheets, frames and pictures. I wish I could convay how much more fun it was :(
Tyinsar 26th November 2007, 19:18 Quote
Common sense coming from France? ... ... Yay France!


The first question for me is what traffic can / will they monitor? There are a few very valid, non-invasive uses for such statistics and a few nefarious uses for the same data. The most important question for me is who all gets to use that data and for what purpose(s) - and who will be denied access?
completemadness 26th November 2007, 20:41 Quote
Definetly a step in the right direct, and DRM free products sounds great

And us in the UK should be able to order goods from france, so finally, the UK isnt completly boned
C-Sniper 26th November 2007, 22:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
Common sense coming from France?
lol thats ironic.
In the way of monitoring:
i guess they [ISPs] would just monitor the amount a person downloads and then start logging what they do.
The_Beast 26th November 2007, 23:10 Quote
the french :)
DXR_13KE 26th November 2007, 23:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
And us in the UK should be able to order goods from france, so finally, the UK isnt completly boned

yeah, French dubbed movies..... and of course you also want to consider that lots of stuff are more expensive around Europe than in the UK, there is stuff in the UK that costs 3/4 what it costs here and in the US there is stuff that costs 1/2 the price...... i really hate the euro and what it has done to the buying power of us Portuguese.....

sorry for the rant

/rant

on French i only have the next to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57vRmR5a39s&feature=related

"we surrender!!!!!!!" :D
D3s3rt_F0x 27th November 2007, 00:19 Quote
People here talk about common sense and yet have missed a massive incrotchment on civil liberties I could imagine, why would I want my ISP snooping through what I do or transfer on the internet? In terms of encrypted traffic whats this law do to say they cant break it and look into it? If anything this makes ISP some of the most powerful instituions in France now imo, I mean just how to they determine whos a file sharer.

Next we might as well say everyone should be fitted with a tracker so if your near a crime scene you can be identified and well what after that? I'm not saying big brother here far from it what im saying is what about your data? your details? do you really want someone who has the control to do what they like with your connection snooping about your personal traffic? Perhaps reading emails? Looking at sites youve visited? People you talk too? Perhaps even looking at encrypted data to see what youve been doing? Then where does it stop exactly?

I'd rather have bigger penalties for file sharing than that anyday.
fathazza 27th November 2007, 01:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x
massive incrotchment
now thats a phrase that brings with it some horrible imagery!
completemadness 27th November 2007, 02:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x
People here talk about common sense and yet have missed a massive incrotchment on civil liberties I could imagine, why would I want my ISP snooping through what I do or transfer on the internet?
don't fool yourself

The government already monitors most traffic in/out of the county, and most ISP's do too - how do you think they catch child pornography?
Aankhen 27th November 2007, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
I wish the RIAA etc would just get the hell off the internets... I rember the good old days before cascading style sheets, frames and pictures. I wish I could convay how much more fun it was :(
Uh, what? I appear to be missing the connection between "the RIAA etc" and "cascading style sheets [sic], frames and pictures".
DeX 27th November 2007, 10:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x
People here talk about common sense and yet have missed a massive incrotchment on civil liberties...

No we haven't. You're naive if you don't think your data is snooped through by people in ISPs. The only protection your email has from unscrupulous eyes is the massive swathes of spam that surround it. You are just hiring a service from your ISP to route your messages to other computers around the world. There's no obligation of privacy for ISPs any more than their would be if you sent messages in the post without an envelope.

And incrotchment :)
Shadow_101 27th November 2007, 11:08 Quote
Dam my sole purpose of replying was to make a joke about the French and the title of the article, but I can see its already been done to death!

I think this could be a step in the right direction, if a little misguided.

Quote:
that it is actually the owner of the line who's doing the sharing?

Pretty sure the law see’s it as Your Line, Your Responsibility. (e.g. your responsible for who’s on your network )
steveo_mcg 27th November 2007, 11:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_101

Pretty sure the law see’s it as Your Line, Your Responsibility. (e.g. your responsible for who’s on your network )

Problem with that approach is it would see the ISP's liable for every transaction on their network bet it kiddy pron, movie downloads or spamming. They are not going to go along with that with draconian restrictions on the user.
Shadow_101 27th November 2007, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Problem with that approach is it would see the ISP's liable for every transaction on their network bet it kiddy pron, movie downloads or spamming. They are not going to go along with that with draconian restrictions on the user.

I wouldn’t have thought the same rule would apply to the service provider.
D3s3rt_F0x 27th November 2007, 12:06 Quote
I know they do it, but thing is you dont see them running to the goverment to tell on you at present infact in the UK all of them are very resistive fair enough its because of the costs but least it has an upside for me.
steveo_mcg 27th November 2007, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_101
I wouldn’t have thought the same rule would apply to the service provider.

Whats good for the goose and all that. You can't have a law you expect private citizen to abide by but have different rules for big business.
Tyinsar 27th November 2007, 20:09 Quote
Nice theory steveo but reality says otherwise.
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