French film and music stars could soon enjoy better protection from internet pirates. The government plans to set up a new anti-piracy body with internet providers and the entertainment industry to track those illegally downloading records and movies. Offenders could lose internet access. Denis Olivennes from France’s biggest music and film retailer, FNAC, says: “I’m not talking about the big pirates, I’m talking about my children and yours. We’re warning them it’s illegal. No’one’s going to prison or even being fined.”
The scheme is still in the planning stages, but already many are disputing the practicalities of it. For example, if someone downloads via wi-fi, who gets blamed? And consumer rights experts question its legality since judge and jury would be a non-judiciary body.
“They’re going to police the internet via an administrative authority that would have some of the powers of a judge. That’s not exactly compatible with certain constitutional guarantees,” says one.
As for the young at whom the proposals are aimed, they doubt the technology exists to really crackdown on the problem, given how easy downloading your favourite track is.
One surfer commented that when you can swap material with the click of a mouse, that short of musseling the entire planet, the authorities wont be able to do anything.
However, the entertainment industry in France believes the plans are a major step in the right direction. And other countries are watching with interest.