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Internet piracy battle holds up EU telecoms bill - EUobserver

UOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The battle between internet pirates and copyright holders shifted to Strasbourg this week, with a move that threatens to hold up a major European Union telecoms bill and unravel France's flagship legislation on cutting off internet access for illegal downloaders.

MEPs in the European Parliament's industry committee on Tuesday (21 April) passed an amendment to the telecoms bill requiring that internet cut-offs can only be put in place after a decision by judicial authorities.

Internet piracy is turning into a key issue for young voters ahead of the June elections

The bill itself is a much broader legislative initiative that aims to substantially reform the European telecoms sector, focusing on infrastructure rather than content, with both parliament and EU member states largely in agreement on the package.

But last September, MEPs overwhelmingly backed a similar amendment that intended to put a stop to France's "three strikes law," under which copyright scofflaws would see their internet stopped for up to a year.

by Fran on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 02:01:44 PM EST
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