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?