France approves 3-strikes bill

France's National Assembly has approved a bill which requires ISPs to disconnect users who have been caught three times illegally downloading copyright files. The "Creation and Internet" bill was passed by a vote of 296 to 233 by the lower house and will now go before the Senate for final approval. The bill, backed by President Sarkozy, was voted down when it first went to the assembly.

The legislation was welcomed by global music industry body IFPI. But internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net said the bill had won a relatively narrow victory given the size of the government majority. It said the bill was "legally dead" because it breached "fundamental principles of French and European law, including the respect of a fair trial, principle of proportionality and separation of powers."

The EU parliament last week rejected a telecom reform package because of a clause supporting three-strikes legislation.

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