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EU Rejects ‘3 Strikes’ Rule for File-Sharers

Gordon Kelly


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...


via TorrentFreak


March 30, 2009, 9:48 am

That's good, but any comments about cheaper and better (more serious) products? We are not in medieval ages, when the landlords had absolute power, or we are.


March 30, 2009, 12:11 pm

That's all they wrote - for now...

Ben 3

March 30, 2009, 2:07 pm

Virgin never introduced a 'three strikes' policy. Even your article admits that!


March 30, 2009, 2:33 pm

Don't see the problem with the proposal, at least on principle. It's not some god given right that we have Internet access and it's worth trying a number of different measures to put people of illegal file sharing - there's seldom a legitimate excuse, people. That said, I'm still glad to see this being rejected as it would be a complete waste of money as it's near impossible to implement.


March 30, 2009, 3:23 pm

IT will be interesting to see if this changes the disgraceful agreement between Eircom, Ireland&#8217s telecom incumbent and the IRMA (Irish RIAA). Eircom has already agreed to remove Internet access from households with no more than a request from IRMA, no proof or due process required.


IRMA has being useing this agreement to put pressure on all the other IRISH ISPs, to do the same or face lawsuits.


March 30, 2009, 6:11 pm

IRMA have already had their asses handed to them in regards to an earlier three-strikes policy implemented by Eircom.

It won't take long for the same to happen on that. No other ISP has said they will even take IRMA's phone calls.


March 30, 2009, 6:13 pm

@Ben - didn't say Virgin did Ben, read more closely - I said they TRIALLED it,


March 30, 2009, 7:04 pm

Are you getting commision from Spotify Gordon? You never miss a good plug! - If so, I want in! Because it's grrrrreat!

www.spotify.com - a world of music, instant, simple & FREE!


March 30, 2009, 7:22 pm

@Shaun - haha, I wish but you're right - it is superb. Sustainability is the key though and that will be a major challenge in the time to come. Furthermore should iTunes/Amazon adopt a similar model it could squish them.

Funnily enough I've a Spotify story going live today ;)


March 30, 2009, 9:05 pm

That Ben isn't me btw... not that you can tell. I wish you'd make names unique on your comments system! I'm Ben as registered on the forums.

The three strikes thing was ridiculous. You can't disconnect a whole household due to the activities of one person IMHO, especially when the 'proof' is so vague and questionably obtained. No. Better, fairer solutions to piracy will come in time - that, or better digital distribution models will finally push piracy out of the mainstream.


March 30, 2009, 9:21 pm

@Ben - good idea and don't worry, we know. In the back-end we can see the (unpublished) email address of each contributor so for now at least we can spot you apart ;)


March 30, 2009, 9:53 pm

@ Ben, perhaps have a unique Internet name instead like some of us do? :)


April 1, 2009, 2:53 am

Is the fact that Sarkozy's wife is a singer and he has friends etc who are in the music business have anything to do with his enthusiasm for his anti-piracy stand?

Spotify is okay but its nothing to write home about. The repeat and random selection options either in the menu or the tool bar doesn't work for me. Try searching for Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack, Dr Dolittle 3 etc I couldn't get anything on these.

Still its FREEish if you can live with the annoying ads.

What we need is the audio and video equivalents of Firefox, Wiki, Office Org etc. Thus we shall be well on the way to the world of Star Trek - no money needed and hey no Bankers and hey no credit crunch! Now that's how you make poverty history. In the words of Sam Cook we then have a wonderful world.....

Daniel Gerson

April 1, 2009, 8:21 pm

I'm not apposed to implementing punishment on internet users, so I don't think the premise of the idea is ridiculous. But not with regards to file sharing. I think that computers involved in DOS (denial of service) attacks should have fines imposed on their internet service providers, who can then pass on the fines to the users. This would prompt users to take security seriously, hire experts if you don't know the first thing about securing your pc, and allow insurance companies to get involved here.

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