Take that Nicolas...
16 months on from the French president's controversial (and plain ridiculous) decision to implement a three strikes (and then disconnected) policy for illegal file sharers the European Union has laughed it off the agenda. In an overwhelming majority, the European parliament voted 481 to 25 (with 21 abstentions) in favour of a report from Greek MEP Stavros Lambrinidis to preserve the current security status quo.
"While ensuring that the Internet is more secure is a legitimate goal for our societies, we must monitor and restrict the use of surveillance and control techniques that threaten our freedoms, especially in cases which question its necessity, proportionality and effectiveness," stated the approved report. "Governments or private companies should not see the denial of such access as a means of imposing sanctions, as proposed in some countries in the union."
Yep, France and the RIAA they're looking at you. Amusingly, the French did push to amend the document specifically with regards to three strikes with a cause stating "Access to the Internet should not be the subject of abuse for purposes of illegal activities and that a balance between the various basic rights guaranteed in Community legislation must be respected."
This was also rejected with the (wholly correct) stance that the importance of computer and online literacy to each and every person far outweighs the benefits of unenforceable Internet ban.
Why 'unenforceable'? Because in any household how do you stop the purchasing of PAYG dongles if an individual's cable/DSL connection is removed? How do you avoid punishing the other members of the household and how do you prove it was indeed a member, not a friend or visitor? Throw the notion of WiFi hacking into the equation and it becomes even more of a mess.
Whether Mr Sarkozy ignores the EU and still goes ahead with this madness remains to be seen, but I suspect Virgin Media will be permanently side lining its three strikes trial in UK.
The logical answer is to find a more compelling solution than piracy dear content providers. Spotify has already shown you one way, run with it...
EU Rejects ‘3 Strikes’ Rule for File-Sharers
Take that Nicolas...