French government will email pirates

Legislation allowing the French government to send e-mail warnings to anyone downloading music tracks without paying for them should be passed by the summer, a senior official said. Illegal downloading in France had reached such a point, said Jean Berbinau, general secretary of Armt, the regulatory authority for digital copyright, that the authorities had to act.

“We have to do something, but it is only transitional, only to give time to the industry to adapt and maybe to encourage a new business model,” said Berbinau at Midem. He is charged with implementing the measures announced President Nicolas Sarkozy. They include a “three-strikes-and-you're-out” policy for people downloading illegally.

The e-mail warnings, which would tell people they had been caught breaking copyright laws, would not only be sent to those involved in large-scale file-sharing, he said. “They would be sent to each IP address. It is not a huge technical challenge.”

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