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France drops Hadopi three-strikes provision

A controversial measure to suspend internet access for people who had committed copyright infringement, which had only been imposed once, has been abolished by the French government

Minister of Culture and Communication Aurélie Filipetti announced the change today, meaning that internet users no longer face the risk of disconnection following two written warnings.

She described it as “a totally inappropriate punishment in our world” and said it signalled a change in direction in how the government tackles piracy: “The priority now is the fight against commercial piracy, that is against sites that profit from pirated content, and make money without paying creators.”

Other provisions introduced by the Hadopi law remain in force and copyright infringers face fines of up to €1,500. The Higher Audiovisual Council will take on responsibility for implementing the fines.

The disconnection provision was used once, in the district court of Seine-Saint-Denis a few weeks ago, when an individual was fined €600 and disconnected for 15 days.

The u-turn was welcomed by Cory Doctorow on the Boing Boing website.

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