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Default At least the french are aware of the principles of freedom

June 10th, 2009, 21:35
French Court savages 3 strikes law - tosses it out

The background is a law that was supposed to disconnect people who do repeat copyright infringements. After three attempts the law came through, it just needed to pass the Constitutional Council, who made an epic smackdown upon it.

I just loved the quotes from the Constitutional Council. It's nice to see that there is a country in Europe who still remember it's most sacred values, when the rest of Europe seem to be more eager to abandoning them.

"Moreover, whereas under section nine of the Declaration of 1789, every man is presumed innocent until has has been proven guilty, it follows that in principle the legislature does not establish a presumption of guilt in criminal matters," wrote the Council. This basic principle applies "to any sanction in the nature of punishment, even if the legislature has left the decision to an authority that is nonjudicial in nature."

The court also made a strong statement about freedom of speech: "Freedom of expression and communication is so valuable that its exercise is a prerequisite for democracy and one of the guarantees of respect for other rights and freedoms and attacks on the exercise of this freedom must be necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the aim pursued."

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 10th, 2009, 21:46
This is the law that would suspend people from the Internet after three allegations from copyright organizations, not criminal convictions, right?
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June 10th, 2009, 22:08
Originally Posted by Toaster View Post
This is the law that would suspend people from the Internet after three allegations from copyright organizations, not criminal convictions, right?
Yeah, which doesn't fit well with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights among other documents.

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June 10th, 2009, 22:29
Well AFAIK the French (and the British) leadership including Sarkozy were pressing this article of law to be set in place to begin with. It's still somewhat refreshing to see their Constitutional Council didn't follow the suit.

Even if the law had passed, the ISP operators might have lost several customers to other operators, who wouldn't accept to apply the 3-strikes. Maybe they would have lost enough customers to turn their heads around.

When Pirate bay had a small break during its court session in Sweden, there was a huge drop in net traffic in the country. I think the Swedish ISPs noticed that also.
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June 10th, 2009, 22:40
I think that the three strikes idea not only makes sense but also necessary unfortunately … but not based on allegations. That's just stupid.

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June 10th, 2009, 22:54
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
I think that the three strikes idea not only makes sense but also necessary unfortunately … but not based on allegations. That's just stupid.
Personally I see it as dysfunctional as forbidding someone to use a phone, forbid someone from using any form of vehicle (including riding the bus). Internet is today deeply integrated into our system, governmental, educational, communicational and it only gets more and more integrated for every year. That level of complete isolation is not proportional to the crime.

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June 10th, 2009, 23:59
I'm glad to see news like these every once and a while…Nowdays control is increasing all over the europe. Natural rights are taking heavy hits obviously. I wonder why we are so sheepish and accept this without fighting. We don't mind that goverments are incresing surveillance or collecting dna-banks of it's citizens, stricter copyright laws are set and so forth. international terrorism and "sudden increase of crime" are only silly excuses (like they have always been) for goverments to increase control.
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June 11th, 2009, 00:11
Well, I wouldn't call using the internet a 'natural right' - neither do I see telephone use or car use as a natural right either. I think these "rights" *Can* be restricted or, in extreme circumstances, taken away. And the government is perfectly welcome to put up cameras at every street corner, by the way - it's well within their right and purview to do so. I'm all for strict coypright laws (but am adamantly against things like DRM or prosecuting individual users for pirating things - go after the Warez groups, IMO).

And international terrorism is far from an excuse to have better cooperation and standards in law enforcement.
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June 11th, 2009, 00:32
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
Well, I wouldn't call using the internet a 'natural right' - neither do I see telephone use or car use as a natural right either. I think these "rights" *Can* be restricted or, in extreme circumstances, taken away.
I wouldn't rate copyright infringement as "extreme". And I see being able to function in society as a natural right.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 11th, 2009, 00:38
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I wouldn't rate copyright infringement as "extreme". And I see being able to function in society as a natural right.
I wouldn't rate it as extreme either (and i think this law is stupid, by the way). Some people forfeit their rights when they commit certain crimes, though. Example: If you drink and drive, you lose the ability to operate a vehicle. I think if you're caught doing that you should never be allowed to drive again, unless you are given that medication that makes you violently ill if you try to drink alcohol. In the same sense, I think if you're convicted of (say) some sort of really bad hacking, you should be banned from using a computer.

My point is using the internet is not a natural right. If the US decided to ban the internet and shut it all down they wouldn't be violating a 'natural' right.
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June 11th, 2009, 02:02
JemyM has the natural right to ignore the law, evidently. If you don't like copyright laws, seems to me you need to up sticks and move your sorry butt to China, where they don't worry about that sort of thing. You have no problem enjoying the many fruits of a lawful society, so you should likewise have no problem following those very laws.

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June 11th, 2009, 04:05
Amen Brother, Preach it!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 11th, 2009, 06:27
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
JemyM has the natural right to ignore the law, evidently. If you don't like copyright laws, seems to me you need to up sticks and move your sorry butt to China, where they don't worry about that sort of thing. You have no problem enjoying the many fruits of a lawful society, so you should likewise have no problem following those very laws.
That's not the issue. The issue is proportionality. The Internet is very much a feature of daily life, and banning it use is a major punishment. I'd much rather do, say, a month in jail than permanently lose my broadband connection. And copyright infringement is *not* extreme — it's comparable to petty larceny, which is hardly an extreme crime deserving of extreme punishment.

Plus, of course, there are other issues. Suppose I lost the right to Internet use. What about my wife? We have a wireless router and about a half-dozen computers around the house. How could the ban be enforced without infringing on her rights?

Finally, of course, JemyM is free to protest against laws that he finds unjust — just like you have the right to protest against, oh, taxation for example. Or he could even pull a Pirate Bay and go with civil disobedience — and then live with the consequences, naturally.
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June 11th, 2009, 08:50
What PJ said. A strong rule in modern law is that punishments must be in proportion to the crime, and jailtime is in a modernized country is a milder punishment than loosing access to your Internet or phone. The necessity to have access to Internet is not something that will go down over time but will continue to increase. Being forbidden to use computers is equally unreal. There's a difference there with drunk driving, because drunk driving causes risk to the lives of others, and even loosing your right to drive is less devastating than loosing your right to Internet.

The goal of punishments is both about marking what shall not be done as well as rehabilitation. The goal is not to make someone dysfunctional in society.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 11th, 2009, 11:24
I admit that completely blocking internet access is not only next to impossible to enforce but also rather extreme. I would be satisfied with limitations in terms of modem-like speeds or a very low daily bandwidth allowance (standard email and browser stuff, that sort of thing).

However, it doesn't change the fact that we're talking about people who been given 3, I repeat 3, chances to stay within the boundaries of the law and 3 times they have shown that they are incapable of doing so. I think it would be great if criminals could be rehabilitated during their punishments (be it jail time, communal services or whatnot), but if it didn't happen after your first sentence and it didn't happen after your second sentence there is very little chance that it is going to happen the third, fourth or tenth time. At some point, IMO, you - by your own actions - forfeit your right to the same benefits that the rest of the us have and enjoy and by PROVING that you're incapable of keeping on the right side of the line, measures can and should be taken to make sure you won't be able to cross the line again.

Sounds harsh? Sure, but again we're talking about repeat offenders here and while I'm all for handing out second chances, there is a limit to how long I'll be drawn around by the nose. Once bitten, twice shy … thrice, and your ass is mine

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June 11th, 2009, 13:07
Like I said, I disagree with this specific law, but I disagree with the idea that internet use, driving a car, etc are natural rights.

If it had been "three ACTUAL" convicted instances of copyright claim I'd be in favor of limiting them to like a 28.8kbps internet connection for life, or them have to have government tracking software installed in their computer or some such. I think that Warez group people could legitimately be subjected to much harsher penalties, though - treat them as the drug lords of the internet, if you will.
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June 11th, 2009, 13:11
There's another side to it. It's also a question of democracy. Recently the pirate party got 7.1% of the votes in Sweden. Their primary questions are related to rights of integrity etc. These people use the Internet as a base of operation, to discuss and to rally voters.

There is a disagreement if copyrightlaws in their current form is compatible with the current technology, and those who wish to organize an opposition on such regulations need access to communication to do so. Turning them off would not only take away their freedom to Internet, it would also silence their ability to speak against it.

Filesharing is currently a criminal offense, just like blasphemy and homosexuality once was. But when regulations are against popular opinion, silencing expression of opinion against such regulations is a devastating blow against some of our most sacred values.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 11th, 2009, 13:11
In principle It would be best to treat internet access like any other communication as far as the law goes. Cutting off broadband access should mostly be an issue between service provider and user, just as with telephony or cable TV. There are just lots of practical problems to iron out wrt balancing and that complicates the picture.

The proposed French law is mainly problematic because it suggest sanction before trial, which is an unhealthy principle.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I just loved the quotes from the Constitutional Council. It's nice to see that there is a country in Europe who still remember it's most sacred values, when the rest of Europe seem to be more eager to abandoning them.
Given that France is the country spearheading this kind of legislation within the EU I'd say the picture is a bit more mixed than that The constitutional council does a good job. The French government is on the other hand (together with the British) among the worse in the union when it comes to integrity issues.
Last edited by Zaleukos; June 11th, 2009 at 13:23.
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June 11th, 2009, 13:12
Uh… Italy, anyone?
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June 11th, 2009, 13:22
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
Like I said, I disagree with this specific law, but I disagree with the idea that internet use, driving a car, etc are natural rights.
In many European countries, natural rights include positive rights, including a "lowest living standard". This means that some needs must be fulfilled, else the state pays them for you. This include stuff like hygiene, food, a place to live, means of transportation etc, but it also includes access to a phone and a television. There are also public access to stuff like internet for those who are searching for a job and if you are in school you can usually hire a computer at a very low cost to be able to fulfill your education.

Basically no one should ever get so poor, or so deep down, that they cannot function in society, or have a way to get out from their situation.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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