New university research conducted on French internet users has shown that the country's proposed 'three strikes' disconnection law for persistent illegal file sharers is unlikely to have any impact on the number of offenders.
The research, undertaken by the University of Rennes, will be digested with great interest by politicians on this side of the Channel, as the Digital Economy Bill - complete with its own 'three strikes' rule - approaches its second Commons reading next week.
Use of file sharing sites that will be banned by the proposed French law, dubbed Hadopi after the company set up to monitor illegal activity, has dropped a few per cent since October, while usage of those sites not covered has shot up by nearly a third, the research found.
So what are the lessons to be learned? Well, firstly, if you're going to make a three strikes law, make sure you do your research first and find out exactly how files can be shared illegally online, so there are no loopholes.
Or secondly, and more importantly, perhaps don't use heavy-handed, ill-thought out legislation which could affect countless innocent people, hotels and other Wi-Fi providers and smacks of the worst kind of lobbying by a record industry which can't work out how to monetise the interest of a new generation of music lovers. Just a thought.
In the end, it is likely to matter nought in France, according to Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of civil liberties group La Quadrature du Net. He told us that the law will not be enacted because Hadopi will not be able to provide one of the key requirements - a foolproof list of tools "for securing your internet access against it being used for committing illegal online filesharing".
"Whatever they may chose, it will miserably fail and be circumvented," he added.
The question remains whether the UK's own three strikes rule will remain intact as the Digital Economy Bill passes through the Commons. Despite widespread protests at various elements of the controversial Bill, it is looking increasingly likely that it will be rushed through without proper scrutiny by MPs.
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