France’s parliament has rejected a bill which would have meant Internet users would have been disconnected from the net if they download movies and music illegally.
Nicholas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party was backing the bill but only a handful of its national assembly members turned up to vote, because of the Easter break. Patrick Bloche, a member of the opposition Socialist Party said: “If the deputies were not there to vote it’s because they don’t want to vote. That’s one of the failings of this government.” Jean-François Copé, UMP National Assembly president said: “Our colleagues should have been in the chamber to vote. The bill would be re-submitted for a vote on the 28th of April.” The Internet bill, which could pass at the end of April, is heavily supported by the music industry. It would give users illegally downloading files two warnings and then after a third time they would be disconnected from the Internet for a year. Under pressure from a struggling music industry France is not the only country which has been trying to halt on-line file swapping.