France debates new Internet law

Telework productivity conditioned by the performance of business applications

The French Senate started this week to discuss the future Production and Internet Law, which foresees the suspension of connection to the Network to users who, after being notified, continue to do so. download illegal use of audiovisual content.

The draft law provides for the creation of an administrative body, Hadopi (the French acronym for High Authority for the Dissemination of Works and Protection of Rights on the Internet), responsible for sending an e-mail message of «recommendation», which warns of possible sanctions against owners of IP addresses from which unauthorized content is downloaded.

In the event of a repeat offense within the next six months, Hadopi will issue a second warning, says AFP. If the owner of the IP address illegally downloads content again, Hadopi will order the user’s Internet connection to be suspended for a period of between three months to a year.

During this period of time, the Internet user will not be able to contract a new connection to the network, even if he continues to pay the one that is suspended in the meantime.

Internet providers are given a period of 15 days to suspend connections to offenders, under the threat of a fine of up to 5,000 euros in case of non-compliance.

On the table there is an amendment to the law, proposed by the Economic Affairs Committee, which suggests replacing Internet services with a fine to «legally ensure a gradual response», a recommendation that Christine Albanel, French Minister of Culture, responsible for the initiative, considers «much more repressive».

The bill has been openly criticized by Internet access providers, such as Orange, a subsidiary of France Télécom, which considers the sanction ‘disproportionate’ «.

The French Production and Internet Law was also criticized by the European Parliament, which was not in favor of the fact that it was an administrative entity, Hadopi, and not a judicial one deciding on the suspension of the Internet service.