France cracks down on piracy

According to this article in the New York Times, France has a new law.

It’s a three-strikes sort of law.  Three strikes and you may lose your internet access for up to a year.

The law creates a new agency that will send out warning letters to people accused of copying music, movies or other media content illegally via the Internet. Those who ignore a second warning and copy files illegally a third time could face yearlong suspensions of their Internet access, as well as fines.

Me?  I think the idea is awesome.  I *do* believe there should be some sort of punishment for repeated offenders with piracy, but I cringed when I read about the woman who was fined close to $2 million for downloading music.  The punishment should fit the crime, and $2 million doesn’t fit a handful of songs.

However…losing internet access?  Yep.  I think that fits.  It’s not permanent.  They get sufficient warnings and explanations.  They don’t just shut it down cold turkey.  They explain why.  I think it’s very fair.

Critics, though?  Not so much.  They are calling it ‘draconian’.

They argue that disconnecting Internet accounts is unfair because of the increasing importance of the Web as a venue for commerce and political expression.

Unfair.  Snort, snicker, laugh.  Okay, then where is the fairness in pirates depriving the copyright owners aka… the CREATORS of the copyrighted material…. of the their rightful compensation?  The material wouldn’t exist if creative people didn’t create it.  It’s that plain, it’s that simple.

I don’t want to hear arguments of fairness from people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse my rights as an author, my rights as a person, my rights to earn a living.

Way to go, France.  According to the article, Britain has plans to introduce a similar law sometime in the near future.