France Leads Way As IP Pioneers – but is still out on a limb!

The French Senate has given the thumbs up to establish a law which will deal effectively with internet users who repeatedly flaunt the law by downloading copyright music, films or video games.  This crack down has been backed by  the “3 strikes and you’re out system” which is a 3 stage process – warning email, warning letter then if they still persist their internet connection will be cut off for a whole year.

Unfortunately, The European Parliament was not persuaded to follow suit and will not support a final “cut off”.  Says Dids Macdonald, “This really does demonstrate the power of the music lobby which has managed to persuade Nicholas Sarkozy to influence the law makers in an extra parliamentary initiative. This will put France in a heads on with the rest of Europe.”

A recent BBC report on an ISP survey of 1500 UK consumers showed that 75% of music pirates could be deterred by warnings from their internet service provider.  The research examined consumer digital habits and found that the abundance of online music services was changing the copying culture. Many of those surveyed did not to want to flaunt the law but just over half confirmed that they downloaded music legally.  Adds Dids, ‘Music industry groups really have got their act together, it’s a shame that others within the creative industries are not so organised’.

According to Russell Hart, CEO of Entertainment Media Research, “It is quite evident that an ISP-led strategy has bite, because illegal downloaders are fairly convinced that ISPs are currently monitoring their activities and are more likely to act against them than the courts”.  

ACID readers may remember reportage of a previous excellent initiative by the fashion industry in France: The French already lead on several IP initiatives - to date we have seen a move within the fashion industry to ban journalists from fashion shows, thus allowing the catwalk creations to have a steal on the look-alikes. Under the French IP Genesis scheme to help companies evaluate their IP worth, the French Government provides free help and expert advice from IP experts which identifies the rights they should be protecting.

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