There's something wonderful about the French: they genuinely don't care what anyone else thinks. The problem is when they get things horribly wrong, the same rule still applies...
Just like their bizarre decision to keep floundering obsessive astrology sign player picker Raymond Domenech in charge of the national football team against all possible logic so the French government has pushed on with its insane 3 strikes antipiracy rule - and got the bill passed.
In a nutshell 3 Strikes plans to penalise illegal downloaders (and by association their entire families/partners/flat mates) by cutting off their Internet access should they be caught downloading copyright content on three separate occasions. This madness had been sensibly rejected by the National Assembly last month but this week the administration took a crazy pill and saw it pass by 296 votes to 233. It will now be put to the Senate for final approval.
Typically the ruling comes just two months after the European Union overwhelmingly voted against such a move by 481 to 25 votes. "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 report at the time.
Naturally then John Kennedy, chairman of global music industry representative body the IFPI called the French bill "effective and proportionate" and for such silliness gives up the right to feature any more in this article.
Still, if France wishes to push ahead with a bill that not only disadvantages those who download copyright content but also anyone who lives with them then so be it. After all I'm sure it considered how such a move would affect a potentially convicted downloader's child if they have an online school project, for example. I'm also sure it has considered how easily the wireless signals of innocent households can be hacked for nefarious use and how impossible that would be to prove. Even repeat offenders can easily purchase 3G dongles and just keep on going.
No, ultimately copyright infringement comes down to mass public dissatisfaction with existing distribution methods employed by the entertainment industry. That's something the industry has to address and Spotify is a good start, but quite what business it is of a national government I have no idea whatsoever...