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EU Strikes Down French "3 Strikes" Copyright Infringement Law

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the mon-dieu dept.

The Internet 271

Erris writes "Opendotdotdot has good news about laws in the EU: 'EU culture ministers yesterday (20 November) rejected French proposals to curb online piracy through compulsory measures against free downloading ... [and instead pushed] for "a fair balance between the various fundamental rights" while fighting online piracy, first listing "the right to personal data protection," then "the freedom of information" and only lastly "the protection of intellectual property." [This] indicates that the culture ministers and their advisers are beginning to understand the dynamics of the Net, that throttling its use through crude instruments like the "three strikes and you're out" is exactly the wrong thing to do.'"

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Huh? (3, Funny)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 4 years ago | (#25866931)

that throttling its use through crude instruments like the "three strikes and you're out" is exactly the wrong thing to do.'"

Why? Repeat offender laws are remarkably effective in normal crime control; what makes this different?

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867029)

Nothing, if the rule is no more internets after 3 convictions, not after 3 complaints from a private third party?

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867033)

Because the weight of "evidence" required is normally zero.
*drafts 3 fake copyright complaints to stonecyphers ISP*

Go back a decade or 2 and a crafted packet "ping of death" could knock someone using windows 95 off the net for a few minutes, now 3 specially crafted packets encapsulated inside envelopes can knock someone off the net for weeks or months no matter their ISP.

Re:Huh? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867057)

*OS not ISP

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867075)

The complete lack of due process probably had something to do with it.

Depending on how technically inclined they are, the realization that things would swiftly move to encryption only (if only because nobody not using encryption would be left online), and that even with due process the courts would be relying on the assumption that all P2P is piracy may have played a part as well.

Re:Huh? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867103)

Because internet became a necessity for functioning in society.

The 'three-times-you're-out' rule would be the same as to prohibit rehabilitated thieves of making use of the road.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868317)

I think it's worse than that, most information these days is transferred over the internet.

It would be the same as prohibiting someone who made a bomb threat from ever possessing a phone or a pen again. Freedom of expression is not something that should be so trivially and easily revoked.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867119)

Because our laws know different levels of control.

Above all are the human rights, the right of information (communication) is way on top, a basic human right.
You could probably find offences that if repeated sufficiently often could warrant a reduction of this right, sharing IP as we know it is not going to be one of them.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867653)

I expect the ACTA process to include the 3-strikes again, both for the US and the EU. Trade policy is completely different and shielded against democratic influence.

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867151)

"Effective" does not mean that it's not crude. Thanks in part to the "3-strikes-you're-out" rule, The US has the highest prison population (in percentage) among developed countries [wikipedia.org] . The latest figures indicate that more than 1 in 100 American men or women are in jail [pewcenteronthestates.org] .

That's 10 times more people in jail than Germany, for instance. Hell, it even leads Russia on that turf. So much for the "land of the free"...

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (5, Informative)

neutrino38 (1037806) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867401)

I read the blog post and I find the title a litle inaccurate: the EU level clearly rejected the three strike principle to be extended as a EU directive but it is unclear if the decision will force France to back down on its national law.

It may need a directive to specify that this kind of approach is forbidden. Then, it may need a formal complain from the EU commission or a French citizen size the European Court of Justice to have the law revoked or modified.

The parent post also mentionned prison here. But the law was specifically designed to avoid sending people to prison for what is a minor offence.

Personnaly, I don't find the principle of three strikes and you are disconnected so problematic as it looks like road regulationsBUT there are some serious issues with the current implementations:

  • First and not least, the organisation that is in charge of monitoring and issueing warnings and disconnection order is some kind of extra judicial stuff. I believe that the final text include justice intervention but it is very thin ...
  • Secondly, the ability to sue file transfer software editor is just ridiculous. It violates the principle that software is neutral and that it is individuals that perform the acts.

Ok, I guess my karma will suffer from the opinion above but please, could someone explain we what would be a balanced approach that would enforce right of creators and freedoms of Internet users?

What are your proposal slashcrowd?

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867613)

it is unclear if the decision will force France to back down on its national law.

Yes in the linked PDF I don't see a clear repudiation of this technique.

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (4, Interesting)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867633)

At the moment there is a EU directive in place that is contrary to the French proposal. This is not stopping the French government from going ahead with their proposal though. It can still become French law within a few short months.

Eventually it will be struck down through citizen's actions (suit to the European Court resulting in fines) or through a change of government. Governments can be very very stubborn.

The only hope in France is to convince a majority of French representatives that this is a bad proposal before it is voted in.

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867659)

As I wrote above watch the ACTA process where it is going to slip in again. An international trade treaty with the US.

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868127)

Ok, I guess my karma will suffer from the opinion above but please, could someone explain we what would be a balanced approach that would enforce right of creators and freedoms of Internet users?

I think you've managed to ignore a far more important point. Why should government enforce the rights of creators? If they don't like what people are doing with their creations, then sue them. Oh, people are doing it by the millions and there's no practical way to sue them all? Tough ... time for societies and content creators to adjust to a new reality, and not try to force the old one upon the vast majority of the world's citizens: people that don't want it.

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868289)

Why should government enforce the rights of creators? If they don't like what people are doing with their creations, then sue them. Oh, people are doing it by the millions and there's no practical way to sue them all? Tough ...

Your ideas about about ten years ahead of where most people are and they will sound extremist to them. Many politicians still see copyright as property and therefore infringement as theft. Copyright as a government granted monopoly to create scarcity is far too complex for them. They see redressing copyright in favour of fair use as being government intervention in a free market of creativity rather than appropriate regulation of a resource to encourage economy and free speech. They still see it as balancing the majority rule with minority rights, and that copyright infringement is minority rights infringement as the mob seek to steal and in response civil rights must be suspended.

Instead it's much better to talk about fairness and the right to trial, and due process being removed by 3 strikes than anything you're talking about. Your ideas are too extreme and are not persuasive right now.

The best communication builds upon existing ideas and directs them in compelling ways. Communication is about having a sensitivity for your audience and where they're coming from. Understanding the law makers and the public is the difficult part and going too far at once will scare them off.

Be smarter.

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868149)

The difference between this and road regulations, is that breaking the road rules can result in people being killed or seriously injured, as well as significant costs to individuals.
Copyright infringement on the other hand, typically only harms large corporations, and the actual level of harm it does is often massively overstated (most people would never have bought all the media they copied, simply due to cost if nothing else).

Re:Huh? Heu???? some precisions (4, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868231)

> Secondly, the ability to sue file transfer software editor is just ridiculous. It violates the principle that software is neutral and that it is individuals that perform the acts.

With some regret I must point out that in the EU, this is not without precedent. Germany has banned 'hacking tools':

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/31/1629259 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/13/0218246 [slashdot.org]

It would appear not everyone agrees about the 'software is neutral' thing.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

soniCron88 (870042) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867445)

You've shown a great number of U.S. citizens are in jail, that's it. Unless you're going to bring concrete numbers regarding the % of people in U.S. prisons who are, in fact, there because of 3-strikes laws, you might as well vomit random numbers--what you're saying is meaningless in the context of this conversation.

Say we have a vastly more effective police force: That could account for it.

Say we have stricter (draconian?) drug laws: That could account for it.

Say we have slower due-process and the majority are merely pass-throughs: That could account for it.

I could name any one of hundreds of reasons why the U.S. prison population is so high. Yet, without demonstrating the % of those attributed to any one factor, I'm not going to jump around calling 3-strikes laws crude on the basis of that.

Re:Huh? (0)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868159)

You could just as easily argue the opposite. Going easy on drugs makes drug trade less profitable because risks for the "entrepreneur" are lower. Etc...

The point is whether the high amounts of prisoners make the country a saver place?

Trying to enforce a strict regime is like managing a project through a spread sheet without considering important exceptions in detail. In theory everything makes sense but the project is not likely to achieve one tenth of its potential. Still managers value a spread sheet project better than one with greater but less obvious merits.

Managing a project does not compare in importance with managing society. What are your ideals and will these come true and sustain themselves? Probably not by being strict on stuff you don't want but by concentrating in nourishing stuff you like.

I also doubt to find evidence that U.S. citizen are less or more criminally inclined than citizen of other countries. The percentage of prisoners should reflect this equality.

Re:Huh? (1)

bestalexguy (959961) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867953)

In my country (Italy) almost the opposite happens.
If I got you right, you're not complaining about innocent jailed people.
I can't see the upside of having offenders free on the street instead of locked up.
Being robbed or assaulted twice in the same week by the same guy is extremely crude. In Italy, this may happen.

Re:Huh? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867193)

Some countries require the internet for some government interaction tasks.

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867687)

this law threatened to stop slashdot readers from downloading hollywood movies for free. Hence the outrage by tight assed geeks who think the world owes them free entertainment

Re:Huh? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868181)

What about the outrage from arrogant media producers who feel they deserve to continue raking in obscene profits for work they did many years ago?

It cuts both ways you know, if media producers weren't so hostile towards the consumer (long copyright terms, draconian drm, etc etc) then only a small hard core of people would make their own copies....
But it's clearly more profitable to wring massive profits from the poor suckers who will buy, than to lower prices and loosen restrictions but sell more units.

Re:Huh? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868081)

Repeat offender laws are remarkably effective in normal crime control; what makes this different?

Actually, they're not.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

h-xman (1127981) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868229)

Why? Repeat offender laws are remarkably effective in normal crime control; what makes this different?

What makes it different? The court. The independent court that has to prove that you've committed the crime. The proposed French law would be about possibility to punish anyone without any court involved, without any proof.

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868297)

Why? Repeat offender laws are remarkably effective in normal crime control; what makes this different?

Repeat offenders are usually tried and convicted. Not just pointed out in the street and incarcerated. Three strikes in this case means three accusations and no more internet. Not three convictions.

How do you get membership? (4, Interesting)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#25866959)

I wish Australia was part of the EU. Perhaps this firewall business would disappear.

Re:How do you get membership? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867133)

One of the requirements that I firstly think of is not having a death penalty. I've no idea how .au stands on that one though.

Re:How do you get membership? (2, Funny)

Chep (25806) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867157)

Another requirement of *E*U membership might be some continental proximity to Europe... (or be a direct dependent territory, see Reunion [wikipedia.org] , which is probably the closest scrap of EU from Australia. Would Australia go back on its independence to achieve EU membership?... Dude...)

Re:How do you get membership? (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867745)

see Reunion, which is probably the closest scrap of EU from Australia.

I'd say that New Caledonia [wikipedia.org] is much closer, about 750 miles away from Australia.

Re:How do you get membership? (1)

Chep (25806) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868041)

New Caledonia is not part of the EU; it is only a TOM (Territoire d'Outre-Mer), in less flowery words, a colony. Reunion Island is a DOM (Département d'Outre-Mer), ie. "overseas chunk o'France". See for instance this banknote [bundesbank.de] , you'll see the overseas confetti that do count (nexto to the omega). New Caledonia isn't.

Re:How do you get membership? (2, Informative)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868191)

It's a strange situation. New Caledonia is on a transition status to independence, and although the citizens of New Caledonia are considered citizens of the EU, and take part in the elections processes of the EU, the island is not part of EU territory. It is considered an associate member of the EU though, and has benefited from European funds for development.

Re:How do you get membership? (1)

Chep (25806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25868389)

Indeed. Transposition of most EU laws there is not mandatory, although yeah, the most fundamental stuff is supposed to apply there as well.

Re:How do you get membership? (5, Insightful)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867379)

Like all civilised countries, Australia does not have the death penalty.

To me it is the touchstone of civilization that the state does not kill its citizens.

Re:How do you get membership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867447)

but if it kills other country's citizens?

Re:How do you get membership? (4, Informative)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868109)

No state should ever kill anyone.

The single most stupid damging human afflication is
beyond doubt 'patriotism" I have never been able to work out any useful function of patriotism.

Its just a mechanism of propaganda that allows govts to start wars.

Re:How do you get membership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25868423)

How is this a troll?

Very bad moderation. There is no -1 disagree.

Re:How do you get membership? (1, Troll)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867933)

Sorry man. I know I am pissing on the karma bag on this one, but I completely disagree. Some people need to die. Their only function in the world is to bring pain and anguish to all the people that come in contact with them. The debate should be more about "Who can possibly make such a decision" than "Why should we make such a decision". Ignoring false-positives (which there will be in any form of government), execution is a win-win for everyone. People are 10000000x more afraid of dying than the prospect of life in prison. They know that somehow, someway, they may get out of prison. When you die, you are dead, and there is no getting out of it. So not only is it the ultimate deterrent, those who choose to break a death penalty law should be killed anyway... after all, if that isn't going to stop them, nothing will.

Re:How do you get membership? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868011)

Ignoring false-positives (which there will be in any form of government),

Wow... just... WOW.

Re:How do you get membership? (2, Interesting)

travellersside (1227548) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868067)

It's true that some people should be killed, but for me that's more about mercy. As far as I'm concerned, a death penalty is no big deal. I'd rather not die, but at least it's over and done with. Being locked up in prison for years and decades? Only to emerge vastly older, out of touch and with no hope of operating in the world, not least because of the stigma that's attached to being an ex-con and likely made worse when people find out why you were there? Not terribly appealing, you know. "But at least you're not dead." Pfah. There are worse things than death.

Re:How do you get membership? (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868225)

Prison is a pretty poor punishment, for the reason you pointed out...
When you leave prison, depending how long you've been there you may have completely lost touch with the world and suffer the stigma of being an ex-con which will severely hamper any hopes of moving on...

Instead, the only life you know and the only way to make enough money to live is crime...
You've spent the last X years in the company of criminals who could have taught you plenty of illegal things, and you're likely to have many new criminal contacts now.

Prison is basically a school for criminals, you weren't a very good criminal when you went in (not very good because you got caught), but after coming out you will have the benefit of pooled criminal knowledge and new criminal contacts.

Re:How do you get membership? (4, Insightful)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868075)

Unfortunately, the facts are that the death penalty does not work as a a deterrant as you claim.

Take for example terrorists, they would rather die and go to heaven than live in a jail.

I cant be bothered looking up the figures, but there have been many cases where DNA has taken someone out of death row. How many innocent people should be allowed to die so you can feel good about the death penalty being applied?

Executing even ONE innocent is intolerable.

In a deeply flawed justice system it is unfogiveable.

Re:How do you get membership? (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868125)

Basicly you have no clue how death penalty works out in reality.

The Soviet Union in the late '70ies introduced the death penalty for rape. What was the result? The number of rapes did not go down. But the number of rapes where the victim got murdered afterwards shot up.

People defending the death penalty often seem to be under the impression that crime in the most cases is carried out because of lenghty thoughts and careful weighing of the pros and cons. It is not. And that makes the whole "deterrence" idea void.

The death penalty does not deterr crime. Period.

Re:How do you get membership? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868211)

Not everyone is afraid of dying tho...
Consider suicide bombers, who are planning to die... If somehow their plan fails, but they are still convicted of attempting a terrorist bombing, killing them is in effect finishing their job. Keeping them alive would be worse punishment, since they believe that death would make them a martyr.

Re:How do you get membership? (4, Funny)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867663)

We can get Iceland for free as an EU member state now ;-)

Not completly good news (1, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867093)

On one hand, a patently stupid law has been struck down. On the other hand, a multi country has superseded the laws of a single, albeit member, country. I am no fan of these type of organizations.

Re:Not completly good news (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867143)

You mean organizations like ... USA ?

Re:Not completly good news (5, Insightful)

who knows my name (1247824) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867153)

Why? In this case, at least, the EU has shown its worth. I think the EU can be the voice of reason, much like the British house of Lords. It may introduce bureaucracy, but I will take that for protection of my human rights, privacy and a more open Europe.

Re:Not completly good news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867199)

I think the EU can be the voice of reason, much like the British house of Lords.

ah hahahahahaha

*wipes tears*

heh..

Re:Not completly good news (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867309)

You do realize that it's only because we have the EU that France at all could try and impose such a law on us non-French? (And on the French, but France could have done that anyway.)

Re:Not completly good news (2, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867189)

You know, there is no need to be a member of the EU. That's what was democratically decided in those countries.

This is also the reason why Switzerland isn't a member of the EU - it was declined in votes (by the people). One of the big advantages of the half-direct democracy we have here.

Re:Not completly good news (5, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867219)

The member states signed treaties that they will have to obey certain restrictions imposed upon them by the EU. If they didn't want that they shouldn't have joined the EU. They wanted the benefits, they gotta live with the downsides too. France isn't a small country and could certainly have stayed out of the EU without being bullied into joining.

Re:Not completly good news (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867403)

Besides, France is still free to leave at any point if they feal that EU membership obligations are too burdensome. It's not like with the US states...

Re:Not completly good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868105)

To be completely fair, since the Constitution Treaty did not come into force, there's no documented procedure for a country to get out of the European Union as of now.

Re:Not completly good news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867783)

Don't be so sure. France relies so heavily on farming subsidies from the EU they'd be a far weaker nation than they are now otherwise.

France is in a situation like Britain was in the 70s and 80s, back then Britain had a massive mining industry but it simply wasn't profitable, it was held up by subsidies and it was holding the country back. Thatcher realised this and whilst it was immensly unpopular, she let the mines close. It resulted in large amounts of job losses but the country was better for it. France is in the same position but has no politicians with the balls to commit political suicide for the good of the country and accept that their farming industry simply doesn't make sense anymore.

Of course, yes this means France could do without the EU if it had any politicians with the balls to do whats right for the country but it doesn't and even when it does it'll take a decade to fix up the damage done by these subsidies and start moving these farmers into jobs that actually benefit the country.

Re:Not completly good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868161)

France is actually has been there since EU's creation, they halep shaping UE as it is today...

Re:Not completly good news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867283)

On the other hand, a multi country has superseded the laws of a single, albeit member, country. I am no fan of these type of organizations.

Are you a fan of the USA, on the federal level? One could say the same thing about the individual states and the federal government.

Or, for that matter, one could say the same thing about the counties and the states. Or the municipialities and the counties. Or the neighbourhoods and the municipialities. Or the individual homeowners and the neighborhoods.

Seriously, what IS the difference?

What the EU needs is more democracy - or, rather, some democracy at all. But that's a matter of implementation, and the basic idea is not just sound, it's in fact no different from ANY kind of government on any other level, either.

Re:Not completly good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867451)

The difference may have been that a large number of people were unaware or unprepared for that the 'federal government' has come into existence and has the power of law over their nation.

In many cases they did not vote for membership, or voted for membership under different terms than what has developed. They still find themselves subjects of the new state.

Re:Not completly good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867363)

Not at all. The EU is about consensus. It's not some great bureaucracy that dictated what France can and can't do, "the culture ministers decided" that it was no acceptable. Thank you, culture ministers.

Re:Not completly good news (5, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867667)

The EU is roughly the size of the USA in population and area.

Perhaps it is not so different to think of the EU as a large country with a number of member states?

The EU doesn't have jurisdiction over every elements of members' law, but safekeeping democracy and liberties in all of its member states is part of its charter.

This is good, no? Recently, even in highly technical areas like patents and telecommunications, European representatives have erred on the side of preserving liberties. This is amazing, not?

Re:Not completly good news (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867729)

To paraphrase Bush:

The trouble with the Americans is that they have no word for renaissance.

Re:Not completly good news (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868237)

The EU doesn't have jurisdiction over every elements of members' law, but safekeeping democracy and liberties in all of its member states is part of its charter.

Which is ironic, given that the big decisions made at EU level are made by politicians who are not directly elected to those posts (and not infrequently, they are those who could not credibly remain in government in their own countries after the mess they made of things back home). Because of this, the EU is often used by national governments who want to push an unpopular agenda that they can't credibly do locally, by driving it through in Europe where there is no popular vote, and then claiming back home that they have to implement things because "European rules say so". Moreover, the EU takes a staggering amount of money from some of its member states to subsidise the others, but this direct financial support does not seem to result in any greater bargaining power for those states, and the EU hasn't managed to get its accounts audited and signed off for 14 years.

In other words, if you think the EU has anything to do with democracy, I'm afraid you're completely delusional. It happens to have produced one or two useful sets of rules on areas like human rights, but it's produced a whole heap of bad laws on just about everything else, and charged us a pretty penny for the privilege. It was never supposed to be a United States of Europe, just an economic agreement for mutual benefit, but the vested interests and empire builders at its heart have turned it into far more than that. The fact that the only thing that stopped the EU Constitution^WReform Treaty going through was the Irish no vote in a referendum, because no other member states' national governments would actually allow their people a referendum with the negative (for them) outcome so clearly predictable, tells us all we need to know of European democracy.

Re:Not completly good news (2, Funny)

porpnorber (851345) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868223)

So the wrong side won the US civil war? Just checking. You're allowed to say 'yes,' I know it wasn't really about slavery (though you have to ask yourself whether the revolution wasn't, given the timing).

(PS: Flamebait or not? It's an interesting and slightly worrisome fact that when I say something cynical about America I have no way to predict whether I'll be modded "flamebait" or "insightful." I swear, I can use the exact same words on two different days and get opposite moderation. Maybe it depends on timezones—am I posting while Europe is awake?)

The Free Culture Principle (4, Insightful)

crosbie (446285) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867181)

* Seek culture, but not at the expense of liberty
        * Seek liberty, but not at the expense of truth
        * Seek truth, but not at the expense of privacy
        * Seek privacy, but not at the expense of life
        * Seek life, and enjoy free culture.

Re:The Free Culture Principle (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867325)

Yes I think I understand how this works

* Seek rock, but not at the expense of scissors
* Seek scissors, but not at the expense of paper
* Seek paper, but not at the expense of rock

Re:The Free Culture Principle (2, Funny)

Swizec (978239) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868277)

* Seek rock, but not at the expense of scissors * Seek scissors, but not at the expense of paper * Seek paper, but not at the expense of rock

* Seek lizard, but not at the expense of spock
* Seek spock, but not at the expense of rock

Re:The Free Culture Principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868341)

But what will you do if you guys can't settle on lizard/spock?

Fuck you (0, Troll)

skulgnome (1114401) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867779)

I seek whatever the fuck I want, and you can shut the hell up about it.

Re:The Free Culture Principle (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867949)

* Seek culture, but not at the expense of liberty * Seek liberty, but not at the expense of truth

Well...byebye religion and good riddance.

Re:The Free Culture Principle (1)

ZmeiGorynych (1229722) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868113)

You had me right through the first 3, but what on earth does the 4th mean?

Danger to freedom (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867209)

Any business model that depends on preventing what people can do easily in the privacy of their own home is (1) impossible to maintain and (2) detrimental to freedom as it requires an oppressive legal infrastructure and a brutal enforcement mentality.

Re:Danger to freedom (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868291)

So I guess we should just legalise printing counterfeit money, then?

That's the funny thing about these simplistic arguments about enforcement: when you start to consider things like ethics and consequences, most people will act responsibly voluntarily, and you can concentrate any enforcement efforts on those who act selfishly at the expense of others. So it goes with any law, and this area is no different.

The problem with copyright is that right now, because effective action hasn't been taken against abusive Big Media companies who were themselves breaking rules on things like price fixing and competitive behaviour with apparent impunity, a lot of people feel no sympathy and shaft those companies in return. This has the unfortunate side effect that the little guys who rely on the same laws to pay the rent and who haven't been abusing customers en masse also get screwed.

It would be better if the copyright laws were rewritten with a more realistic fair use (or whatever your local version is called) concept, and people were educated about the economic realities of content production so they actually had a clue about when they were being screwed and when they were paying a fair price. As legal downloads have demonstrated, given such information, most people will play fair and be honest, as long as the people they are dealing with do likewise.

i'm going to get modded flamebait for this, but (2, Funny)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867253)

does this mean that fair and balanced is good now?

Oh "good news" (1, Insightful)

tonyray (215820) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867261)

Now we can throw them in prison instead of just cutting off their Internet. I don't get it; how is forcing stronger measures good news?

Re:Oh "good news" (2, Informative)

janrinok (846318) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867669)

Because you can't be sent to prison without some kind of judicial process, usually requiring evidence and such like. That wasn't the case with the French law. If you were identified (by whom? with what level of proof? what about facing your accusers?) to be downloading copyrighted material you would be warned twice and the third time be disconnected. Ubuntu is copyrighted material - can I no longer download it using a torrent? I distribute photographs that I have taken via torrents. They are copyrighted material - I own the copyright! Should my family be forbidden to download them because they contravene this proposed law? How would anyone know that I was downloading copyrighted material. It is illegal for ISPs or any other organisation to monitor communications without judicial consent and oversight. It might not be the case in the US, but it is still the law in all EU countries (admittedly, there are a few who are now bending this law to suit themselves but that doesn't change the fact that they ought not to be doing so).

Re:Oh "good news" (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867693)

Because due process is warranted. Previously only the faintest of indication of evidence was enough to get one's internet access cut off. Now content providers will have to show actual evidence of piracy and financial harm. This is much harder.

So far, when taken to court, in the US, no content provider have been able to convict anybody after appeal.

But you are right, people are interpreting this as a license to pirate, this is the opposite.

Can we get some of that in New Zealand? (3, Informative)

nzgeek (232346) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867307)

Can we get some of this "common-sense" in New Zealand please?

"Anti-piracy" 3-strikes was railroaded into our copyright law (section s92a) after select committee hearings and due process. Then the Minister had the gall to complain that all the moaners should have got involved in the process.

Re:Can we get some of that in New Zealand? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867723)

In New Zealand the minister responsible for this, Judth Tizard, was kicked out the parliament after losing in the recent NZ election. Many people in the IT community worked against her.

Getting kicked out didn't stop her from going on a radio tirade about how it was necessary to remove due process and oversight by cutting off people who *might* be infringing [theyworkforyou.co.nz] . Yes, she even says "might". She actually believes she's doing this for the good of New Zealand and many other people in power do too.

The law will come into effect in February 2009 after a parliamentary vote so we've got until then to change minds. People against these parts of the law should join the groups working against this such as Internet NZ [internetnz.net.nz] and the NZOSS [nzoss.org.nz] .

The Labour party (which she was part of) lost the last election and now the National party are in power. It remains to be seen whether they're going to do better but we can only try.

Re:Can we get some of that in New Zealand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868003)

I have a friend who is looking at becoming a member of the Greens here, being very impressed with their IT policy, among other things. Start emailing and writing to whoever you can in the government. I'll try to get something sent out myself today. I was in China at the time this law was brought in... And come back to this. It's disgusting!

France and Baseball (5, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867331)

I mean come on, it should be struck down on the basis that France doesn't even play Baseball so a "3 strikes" rule is just the American Imperialism that they are always railing against.

Now a "7 Course Meal and you are out" sounds a much more French rule to have.

On the copyright side of course its quite odd that France, which has a set of music that only the French want to listen to (Manau [amazon.com] excepted) is worried about piracy, hell if more people listen to some of their artists they should be glad.

Re:France and Baseball (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867581)

It's a matter of taste. Not only do I prefer (by far) Denez Prigent [amazon.com] 's music when it comes to french-made electronic celtic music, but it also seems that Manau ran into trouble with Alan Stivell [wikipedia.org] , who sued them for plagiarism. Talk about copyrights...

With that being said, though being a French guy myself, I don't care very much for the current generation of French artists.

Re:France and Baseball (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867625)

You know, Georges Brassens [wikipedia.org] excepted, most well known "French" "artists" came (there's no good french singer still alive) either from Quebec or from Belgium... BTW there are some english translations of Georges Brassens songs, you should either listen to them or read their lyrics...

Re:France and Baseball (2, Interesting)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867813)

I hate to say this, but the French have excellent:

- Chansons: Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg
- Hip-Hop: FFF
- Techno: Air
- Lounge: St Germain (the artist, not the compilations
- Gypsy Jazz: Paris Combo
- Pop: Nouvelle Vague

And this is just my extraordinarily limited knowledge of French music. Granted, the pickings are slimmer than in the Music Export Top 3, the US, the UK and Sweden, but still there's a lot of interesting things going on there.

Same thing in Germany with people like Luna, the Notwist, Die Fantastischen Vier, Jan Delay. Then it's the same with Norway with people like Morten Abel, Kinny & Horne, Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp and in particular Madrugada. Hell, even Austria has Waldeck and Kruder & Dorfmeister.

With a name like Moses Jones I don't know where the hell you're from, but I suggest you extricate your head from your arse before you make such statements the next time.

And no, I'm not French.

Re:France and Baseball (2, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867867)

I lived in the country for 2 years working in a multi-national organisation, and have a reasonable French music collection. One day we had a competition of "who is the worst at" and for the music category it came down to France v Germany in the final.

The french contender put forwards the amount of average 50 year old crooners and Johnny Halliday who all have their crowds of 17-20 year old models in the background all the time.

The german contender pulled out the winning plug however by pointing out that not only is "oompha" music played on German TV but that their music is so had that they.... BOUGHT DAVID HASSELHOFF CDs.

The issue with French music (and German) isn't that there aren't some reasonable things in there, its that most of it is just stunningly bad and makes bad UK or American music seem like the Beatles, Stones or Beach Boys. As a French colleague said "if your Uncle sang like that at a party you'd be embarrassed". The occasional stars aren't even allowed to shine that brightly in France amongst the turgid nonsense of French "Pop" and Drunk Uncle music.

Re:France and Baseball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868359)

With a name like Moses Jones I don't know where the hell you're from, but I suggest you extricate your head from your arse before you make such statements the next time.

He's entitled to his (correct) opinion, so how about you take your own advice, son.

If you're not French, you must be Belgian.. probably from Wallonia even. I never liked those motherfuckers or their waffles.

Interesting tags (0, Offtopic)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867361)

suddenoutbreakofcommonsense seems appropriate, though when a skydiver is hurtling toward the ground, and waits a long time to open their chute, the observers on the ground do not say "wow, a sudden outbreak of common sense." Typically what is uttered is more along the lines of "holy shit, that was fucking close"

But you be the judge

All countries take heed: Shows power of EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867391)

The French government wanted to implement a law.

The EU government rejected that.

Result: The French government is unable to pass the law.

What's the justification? 'Right to information'? Everyone knows that's bullshit in disguise - because anything can be justified, and anything repressed, by interpretation of general clauses of rights.

Re:All countries take heed: Shows power of EU (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867535)

Countries can't make laws contradicting treaties they've signed up to, or laws they've helped bring into being across the whole EU.

What exactly is the problem with this? It's the EU doing what it was supposed to do.

Re:All countries take heed: Shows power of EU (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867815)

Those are simple answers to complex questions. You simplify away the fact that treaties are written as generalities subject to interpretation, by a court that is not French.

If the treaty specified that such a law could not be written, then the law would clearly not have been proposed. Or, the treaty not signed in the form it was. QED, the treaty limits the country in unintended and unforeseen ways.

The problem is that a formerly sovereign state is unable to enact laws. Part of me is shocked that it's made so light of - part of me knows it's intentionally part of the confidence game to present it as no big deal.

Adelphia did this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867533)

Adelphia did this when users get DMCA'ed three times.

As a french citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867545)

If my gouvernment could surrender to the European Union for this subject, I wouldn't complain :/

Re:As a french citizen (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867595)

I second this.

Oh, and would you mind creating an account and logging in ? I'm tired of Slashdotters portraying French people as cowards, anonymous or not.

Re:As a french citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867803)

If you want that changed then you're going to have to go to war with all of Europe over this. Germany did it so stop being cowards. Bonus points for quickly flattening a weaker neighbour like France, oh wait...

Embrace - Extend - Exterminate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25867571)

1. The larger unit invites the smaller unit into membership and collaboration under open and generous terms. Often this is laced with substantial short-term benefits and payouts. Payouts for wine farmers with no conditions attached spring to mind.

2. The larger unit and smaller unit as a result of this develop cooperative lines of action. A number of people within the smaller unit will have their livelihoods directly dependent on those cooperative lines. Cultures develop around preserving them and recognising the results of them.

3. The larger unit will over time have created a large number of cooperative dependencies. If the (resemblance of) the smaller unit wishes to break any of these, the ultimatum given is that it would mean the breaking of all of them, and reversing them to the detriment the smaller unit instead. The core of the smaller unit, ex those who have developed into cooperative positions with the larger whole, finds their power to make decisions have vanished.

Leadership problems together with uncertainty over the goodness of the alternative status quo combined with the badness of the certain pains that would be gotten if severing ties means that popular support is either in favour of keeping ties or unfocused and easily dismissed.

People in Europe should get used to seeing their governments become irrelevancies.

3 Strikes? (5, Funny)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867597)

Perhaps they rejected it simply because Europeans didn't understand the "3 strikes" baseball metaphor. They should adopt a "three yellow cards leads to a red card" policy.

Re:3 Strikes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25868005)

Acutally, it's only supposed to be two yellows before you get a red card.

Unless you're playing for Croatia.

"3 Strikes" Law - revised (4, Interesting)

bestalexguy (959961) | more than 4 years ago | (#25867851)

"Anyone who surreptitiously installs a rootkit in anyone else's computers thrice shall be kicked out of business"

Re:"3 Strikes" Law - revised (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#25868173)

"Anyone who surreptitiously installs a rootkit in anyone else's computers thrice shall be kicked out of business"

In that case, it should be "Anyone who surreptitiously installs a rootkit on anyone else's computer should be locked up." Yeah, Sony, I'm talking about you.

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