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Sarkozy urges rejection of internet amendment

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Sarkozy urges rejection of internet amendment

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The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has asked for the head of the European Commission to personally intervene to help overturn a vote in the European Parliament which scuppers controversial French plans to fight online piracy.

When MEPs voted on a Telecoms package towards the end of September, they passed an amendment stipulating that no restrictions could be imposed on the rights and freedoms of internet users without first getting a judge’s permission.

European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr said: “The European Commission respects this democratic decision of the European Parliament. In our opinion this amendment is an important re-affirmation of the basic principles of the rule of law in the EU, in particular the fundamental rights of its citizens.”

The French Culture Minister, Christine Albanel, had wanted to be able to send discouraging messages to those who illegally download commercial material, like movies or music, followed-up by suspending the internet accounts of persistent offenders.

Those plans are impossible in the light of the European Parliament’s vote.

Nicolas Sarkozy said it was essential the Commission reject Amendment 138, because, he wrote, it stops member states from implementing intelligent strategies to counter internet piracy.