19 June 2008

You have been BANNED From using the Internet

You've all done it, whether you like to admit it or not. You've all downloaded music or some other form of digital content illegaly sometime or the other.

It's fun, this whole digital revolution thing, and you gotta admit that it is pretty satisfying getting your dose of entertainment for free. Unfortunately, the past few years have screwed over most of the music companies, who've been getting most of their money through physical album sales.

Now, trying to enforce legistlation over the internet concerned with the download of illegal files is pretty damn tough. Sure, there have been a few cases where individuals have been taken to court, but as a percentage of total people who do download illegally, that hardly scratches the surface. France, however, has decided to take this whole thing to the extreme:

France to ban illegal downloaders from using the internet
June 19, 2008

Anyone who persists in illicit downloading of music or films will be barred from broadband access under a controversial new law that makes France a pioneer in combating internet piracy.

“There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone,” President Sarkozy told his Cabinet yesterday as it endorsed the “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” scheme that from next January will hit illegal downloaders where it hurts.

Under a cross-industry agreement, internet service providers (ISPs) must cut off access for up to a year for third-time offenders.

The law has strong backing from Mr Sarkozy, who has taken a close interest in artists’ rights since marrying Carla Bruni, a model and folk singer. However, it has run into opposition from a range of bodies including the state data protection agency, consumer and civil liberties groups and the European Parliament. Big web companies, including Google, and Dailymotion, the video-sharing firm, refused to sign up to the 40-member industry accord last November.

Full Article Here

Technically, that means that you get three strikes, and then you're out without internet access for a year. Give it to the French to come up with a harsh law like that.

But thinking more deeply into the issue, what sort of effects could this have? Will this sort of legistlation promote other governments to enforce similar penalties? Or are people going to resent this so deeply that France is going to have to revoke it? How about when a kid downloads a few illegal songs, do the rest of his family have to suffer? What if I manage to catch an unsecured wireless network and download illegally through there?

Again, the whole issue of restraining the internet is too complex to comprehend, and obviously whoever set this law has no idea how the internet works. Even if my access is 'banned', I could still share music and content over WAN's and LAN's, copy it from a friend through a flash disk or CD, or pop over to the local Starbucks and download music from their network (unless someone has already done that, and Starbucks get their access banned too).

Will it work? Could it possibly work? Is there any way of restraining the internet? And what are your thoughts on this?


KJ said...

Restraining the internet is a joke. It completely spiraled out of control - and the whole downloading of copyrighted digital stuff I think is, in my opinion, going to continue.

In fact I watched an episode of TED Talks the other day and the speaker was a guy who did not believe in digital copy rights, because it destroys the "internet creativity" - in other words by providing digital media for free for public use, the public could then use this media to create new media using their creativity.

Now I understand this is the good side of the coin.

In any case, if this law is enforced I suspect France will be without internet connection in two weeks.

The good side of that coin is that there will be less global internet traffic ;)

Grey said...

Thanks God i am not in France ..

Anonymous said...

crazy really. i dont think they understand how this sort of thing works, there will alwats be pirating no matter what happens. where there is demand, there will be a product

beaverboosh said...

The French have been trying to ban anything un-French for years and have failed. The US urban scene is more pervasive in France than graduates from the grande ecoles can tolerate! Tough merd, cheese eating surrender monkees!

Woozie said...

It's okay, the French will just launch another Revolution and storm the Bastille again. It's what they do.

Also I do not illegally download music. What I do is quasilegal thankyouverymuch.

Dr. Shale bin Agnon said...

Sorry, but the lawlessness online will not go on. The whole internet will be sanitised in twenty years or so. Why? Because that is what people do.

Dazed & Confused said...

this post hit a soar note :(

I'm ashamed to admit that most of my music is illegal ( at least acknowledgment is the first step to getting cured , isn't it?!)

anyhow, i was traveling to the States a couple of months ago and was terrified of getting in trouble for having illegal music ( i know a few people who are in serious trouble because of this) so i backed up most of my music which obviously didn't work all that well and deleted all my music library :(

i went and came back and nobody checked a thing and i'm left with 2 ripped CDs on my 80 GB ipod ... very sad !

I've sworn to go legal from now on.

Morale of the story, i'm sure they don't expect people to stop downloading illegal music because it's impossible to do so but at least it'll scare a few chicken heads like urs truly from doing so !

eshda3wa said...

sounds ludicrous sara7a

oo inshallah they never come up with a solution to this

how else am i gna get to see my shows!

Anonymous said...

I am sure next is Kuwait!

Zhu said...

I'm glad I will be soon Canadian... Sarkosy is an idiot. Talks a lot, makes a lot of strong comments but doesn't know s**t. This is just show... I have no doubt he will punish a couple of people but won't do anything to compromise on the digital issue.

Man, I didn't vote for him and can't wait to the next election.

NoNoWa said...

If I lived in France- I wud have to move!!!

Lilliy said...

Ok... we are all not saints... and who would put down a free offer... but I have to say that I think what France is doing is a positive step... there are artists and a business behind all that work.. Imagine that you are working for free... who would like that... Piracy has been going on forever if it wasn’t the internet, it was copying and distributing since the recorder was invented... but still it was always illegal...
I don’t think France can control the internet but they will try and that is trying to do something about... like other countries including the US is trying to do out of pressure from the artist.. Even now You Tube is limiting what was done before, uploading the music videos... but at the same time... the artists are acknowledging that the internet is a powerful tool... they all have websites and most play their music on it and have You Tube channels , myspace sites that they officially place their videos on.. So they are trying to give in too to what their fans want...
I don’t think you can ever totally control the downloading but still I think it’s worth the try...
We lost the days when you go and buy things and own them... It had its own pleasure...

moon-light7 said...

i don't think such laws work, they might ban internet access for some ppl, but as u said, they can still do their thing using other means.

and what about the P2P downloads or other web sharing programs? they're from ppl to ppl, they r ruled by ppl! no one can ban those!

it's difficult 4 laws like these to have a major effect, i think.