The bill, writes 24-hour news service France 24, is "one of the toughest ever drafted in the global fight against the illegal downloading of films, music and computer games." Backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, the anti-piracy legislation could ultimately lead to the suspension of a user's Internet account.
It has faced toughed opposition in France, including an anti-constitutional charge last spring from the Socialist party, which promised, according to this Reuters report, to mount a second challenge. The party objected to an earlier draft of the bill, which would have created a separate entity with the power to sever a user's Internet access. The approved draft today would put that control in the hands of a judge, who on the third strike could hand down an Internet ban, a fine or a jail sentence.
Ominously, users would also be held responsible for the actions of third parties who piggyback onto their Web connections and use it to illegally download copyrighted works. France24 writes that citizens could be found guilty of "negligence," and face a month-long suspension of Internet service or a fine of up to 1,500 euros ($2,219).
The news from France comes as more artists are speaking out about proposed anti-piracy legislation in England. The government is currently considering tougher measures on those who share music, including the suspension of one's Internet account.
Elton John added his voice to the debate today.