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Friday, 30 July 2004


The International Herald Tribune reports that French internet service providers have agreed to co-operate in attempts to thwart illegal music downloaders. ISPs Free, Noos, Club-Internet, Wanadoo and Tiscali France signed a government-backed charter, together with recording companies and musicians’ groups, undertaking to cut off or suspend the internet access of pirates. Although such steps will only be after a court order is procured, the agreement calls on music companies to bring targeted civil and criminal lawsuits. They have also agreed to send warnings to individual customers if the rights-holders so request. The ISPs hope that if they co-operate at this stage, they will be able to avoid legislation such as the US DMCA, which holds ISPs who fail to remove copyright material posted by their users at the rights-holder’s request, financially liable. If the charter is a success, the arrangement could be rolled out to film downloads.

The IPKat thinks that the willingness of French ISPs to co-operate with copyright holders stands in marked contrast to the attempts by US ISPs to argue that it would be a breach of internet users’ privacy rights for the ISPs to hand over their personal details.

French pirates here, here and here

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