France has been pushing forward with its plan to protect rights holders even at the expense of its citizens’ freedom online. Despite numerous setbacks, the so-called "three-strikes law" was supposed to go in effect starting January 1
, 2010. This has been met with another delay as the law has failed to receive the approval of the country's data protection agency. Yet, this too doesn't seem to phase the government and it is now claiming that the first warnings will start
being sent as early as April.
The law was the issue of heavy debate in France, but President Nicolas Sarkozy's pet project looks unstoppable. It aims to create a national body dubbed the HADOPI which will be responsible for monitoring online file-sharing and taking actions against those caught. The alleged infringers would be sent a couple of warnings after which they could be sent to court and have their Internet connection blocked. There have been many issues with the law and even in its current form many groups claim it is flawed and impractical.
It was set to go into effect at the start of the year, but has been blocked by the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France's main governmental body concerning data protection. The agency is still reviewing the law and hasn't reached a decision and without approval, it can't be put into practice.
The government is treating this as just a minor setback, though, and is confident that it will go through. So confident that Supreme Court adviser Marie-Françoise Marais has been appointed to lead it by the new culture minister Frederic Mitterand. It also set a date for when the first warnings will start being issued and the first emails should start going out in the April - June interval, according to Mitterand. Coincidentally, that would be just after the regional elections in France. When asked if there is any connection between the elections and the delay, the culture minister said
it was a "stupid question" and claimed that there was "no connection."