Networking

French accord could herald the end of file-sharing

While you folks in the United States were having your Black Friday last week, an anti-piracy accord was being signed in France that could have far-ranging repercussions where file-sharing is concerned.

While you folks in the United States were having your Black Friday last week, an anti-piracy accord was being signed in France that could have far-ranging repercussions where file-sharing is concerned.

What it means is this, according to The Register:

The plan has been drawn up by French retail exec Denis Olivennes. It will see signatory ISPs — including France Telecom, which owns Orange in the UK — hand over information on heavy users of file-sharing networks to a new enforcement body which will formally warn them to stop. If they persist, their connection will be cut.

Also:

As part of the bargain, movies will be released on DVD six months after the cinema run, and music will be offered for legal download DRM-free.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a landmark speech, reiterated that the rights and recognition of authors, artists, and performers formed an important commitment of his presidential campaign.

He said, "Today an accord is signed and I see a decisive moment for the civilised Internet. Everywhere, in the US, UK and others, industry and government have tried... to find a permanent resolution to the problem of piracy. We are the first, in France, to try to build a national grand alliance around clear and viable proposals."

The concern here is that France's deal would set a precedent. Already in the United Kingdom, rights holders have been pressuring ISPs in setting up a similar scheme. In the United States, Comcast is well-known for its bandwidth throttling while Cox has been recently accused of interfering with eDonkey seeding on the sly.

Only in South Korea do we have file-sharing literally get out of hand.

Is this the beginning of the end for file-sharing?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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