French lawmakers on Tuesday have finally passed a controversial bill that would cut off internet access to users found to be repeatedly downloading copyright content without the permission of the owner.
The legislation also creates a new government agency, the Hadopi ( the Haute Autorite pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet, or High Authority for the Diffusion of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet), which first sends a web-surfer an email warning, then a letter through the post and, finally, as the third 'strike,' can interrupt his internet access for up to a year.
The bill would create a government agency to sanction offenders, leaving monitoring efforts to entertainment industry watchdogs.
The bill was passed by 296 votes to 233 after an initial failure
However, a European Parliament measure passed last week
prohibited EU governments from cutting off a user's Internet connection without first passing through a court of law.
The European bill including the amendment must still be endorsed by the Council of Ministers, representing the EU member states, when telecoms ministers meet on 12 June.