France approves internet piracy bill

France’s lower house of parliament has approved a pioneering bill allowing authorities to cut off internet access to people who download illegally.

The bill has garnered attention beyond France, both from music and film industries struggling to keep up official revenue and from privacy advocates who say it threatens civil liberties.

The measure passed today in the National Assembly following approval by the Senate in July.

It must clear another hurdle to become law, gaining approval from a small committee from both houses of parliament.

Under the bill, pirates who ignore email warnings and a registered letter could see their internet connections cut for up to a year.

They could also face up to €297,000 in fines or jail time.

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