Three Strikes And Out

One week after securing votes from the French senate and assembly, lawmakers have struck down the “three strikes” law that would cut off Internet connections of those caught downloading pirated works multiple times.

The bill was rejected April 9 in a 21-15 National Assembly vote, with just more than 10 percent of the senators in attendance.

The French government is expected the revise and resubmit the bill.

“It is disappointing that the law was not confirmed today, but we understand that the French government will be resubmitting the law very shortly,” John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI, said in a statement.

“President Sarkozy has been a true champion of intellectual property rights and the proposed law is an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France.”

However, the April 2 adoption of the law may raise IFPI hopes that other governments will follow suit.

On the same day, famed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber told the U.K.’s House of Lords that the music business would be “the first to fall” if the government continues to allow illegal peer-to-peer file-sharers to access music free of charge.

He said online piracy of film and music could cost 30,000 jobs, even excluding performers and composers who would lose their livelihood.

Lloyd Webber believes it would be a serious mistake to invest billions of pounds in faster Internet networks – to meet the fast-growing demand for content – without ensuring there was a “sustainable commercial arrangement” with creative companies, according to Financial Times.

He said Internet service providers were “part of the problem” because they continued to attract people to illegal sites. They make lavish profits but have not done enough to deal with pirated content.

Deputies from France’s ruling UMP party voted to adopt the contested three strikes measure, which is supported by French artists but opposed by national consumer groups.

They fended off Socialist opposition that claimed the new law would be “an assault on public and individual liberties.”