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in Filmmaking
on Nov 23, 2007

The Financial Times reports on a new anti-piracy and filesharing proposal being endorsed by President Nicholas Sarkozy.

An excerpt from the piece by Ben Hall:

Internet users in France who download music and films without paying for them could find their web access shut down by a government body, under a ground-breaking industry agreement backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The plan, which Mr Sarkozy is to endorse in a speech on Friday, will put France at the forefront of the battle against internet piracy with a three-strikes-and-you-are-out policy against repeat offenders.

The proposed enforcement body would use information collected by internet service providers on their high volume users to detect illegal file-sharing. Persistent offenders would be cautioned but could see their internet accounts suspended or terminated if they ignored as few as two warnings.

The proposals were generated by what is termed an “independent review” headed by the president of FNAC (sort of like France’s Virgin Records stores), Denis Olivennes.


In exchange for the clampdown on illegal downloading, the music industry has agreed to make individual downloads of archive French material available on all types of players by dropping digital rights management protection.

The French film industry has agreed to release DVDs more quickly after a film’s first cinema screening, reducing the delay from 7½ months to 6 months.

However, consumer groups and even some of Mr Sarkozy’s own members of parliament on Thursday attacked the proposal for a new internet policeman as a threat to civil liberties.

One of the arguments used by Olivennes in his lobbying was that piracy hurts French culture by reducing cinema admissions. In France, a percentage of all ticket sales gets fed by into the “French system” to support the production of new French cinema.

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