[NYTimes] French Anti-Piracy Proposal Undermines E.U. Telecommunications Overhaul

BERLIN — The European Parliament on Wednesday rejected a long-planned revision of the Continent’s telecommunications laws because of a controversial provision to punish Internet pirates.

In Strasbourg, the Parliament’s lower house, by a vote of 404 to 56, passed an amendment to the telecommunications package making it illegal for any E.U. country to sever Internet service unless a citizen is found guilty in court, effectively blocking the broad revision. [...]

The plan, called Création et Internet and known informally as the Three Strikes law, and backed by the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, has already been rejected once by the National Assembly, in a vote last month.
Now, given the opposition from European lawmakers, its future is in doubt, said Jérémie Zimmermann, the director (ndqldn co-founder) of La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group based in Paris opposed to the plan.
“This is a clear statement from European lawmakers that they consider access to the Internet to be a fundamental right in today's society,” Mr. Zimmermann said. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/technology/07iht-telecoms.html