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.
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.
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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.