CCIA Calls France’s ‘Three Strikes’ Law A Strike Against Internet Freedom and Free Speech Washington – A trade association that has been a long-time advocate for Internet freedom is calling on France’s senate to reject legislation that would cut off Internet access to those accused of piracy. French legislators are expected to vote Tuesday to approve the so-called three strikes bill designed to crack down on copyright violations. If it passes, it would move on to the Senate.

The legislation comes after a more extreme bill was thrown out by a French court in June on grounds it was unconstitutional. That law would have had a French government agency cut off Internet service after issuing warnings about copyright violations. The new version would allow a trial before the punishment is enacted.

The following comments can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:

“This law is like going after mosquitoes with high-powered firearms that are illegal in France. The punishment for actual piracy should be more in line with the damages caused by the crime. We support reasonable and balanced copyright laws, but copyright should not override other rights and common sense. Even most inmates have access to basic utilities like water, electricity and the Internet.

“Economically developed countries spend resources toward ensuring all citizens have access to high speed Internet connections. They do it because they have recognized the Internet is like electricity a century ago. The Internet helps people find employment or be an entrepreneur, find out information about a democratic government and communicate about that government and connect with friends, family and co-workers. We urge the Senate in France to protect its citizens and remain true to its great democratic traditions, to put those interests above the unrelenting greed of Big Content and to reject this legislation.”

 

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