[Times Online] France may ban illegal downloaders from internet

Anyone who downloads films and music in France without paying will face up to a year's ban from the internet under a disputed law that is to be approved by the French parliament today.


Critics, who include internet and civil liberties groups and some artists, are denouncing it as a breach of freedom that will not work. One internet campaign group called Quadrature du Net said that the law amounted to “imposing a social death sentence”.

They said that it would punish citizens whose internet access is used by their children, employees or people hooking into their wi-fi.

A group of French directors and actors, including Catherine Deneuve and Victoria Abril, published a protest on Tuesday. They urged film lovers to fight a law that was “demagogic, inapplicable and stupidly ignorant of new ways of downloading” creative work.