[NYTimes] French Council Defangs Plan to Crack Down on Internet Piracy

PARIS — The highest constitutional body in France on Wednesday defanged the government’s plan to cut off the Internet connections of digital pirates, saying the authorities had no right to do so without obtaining court approval.

The decision, by the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation approved by Parliament before it goes into effect, is a major setback for the music and movie industries, which had praised the French law as a model solution to the problem of illegal file-sharing.

The council rejected the core portion of the measure, [...]

“All we have now is a big tax-sponsored spam machine for the entertainment industries,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, director of La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based group that has campaigned against the measure.