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Internet users joy at law failure

Surprise vote before holidays sees near-empty National Assembly reject bill to disconnect users for illegal downloads

INTERNET users have been celebrating the National Assembly’s rejection of the “Hadopi” law, which would have brought in new measures against illegal downloads.

The Loi Création et Internet was rejected by the assembly in a surprise vote yesterday evening. It is thought to be a first under the Fifth Republic, and is being partly put down to the small number of MPs who were in the house due to the impending start of parliamentary holidays.

It is extremely rare that a law already approved in a commission mixte paritaire - a small group of MPs and senators which seeks a compromise between the two houses, is rejected.

The law proposed setting up a new anti-piracy body, whose lengthy name has been abbreviated to Hadopi.

It would have been charged with tracking down the identities of those involved in internet “piracy” and applying sanctions such as arranging for their connections to be cut off for up to a year.

On Facebook, posters were expressing their satisfaction minutes after the rejection, which was being treated as an upbeat start to the Easter weekend.

“Democracy has won against the lobby groups,” said another poster.

Protestors against the bill criticise the implication of a body to spy on internet users and say it does not tackle the problem of file-sharing online.

Photos of an exhausted-looking Culture Minister (Christine Albanel) with her head in her hands, were being exchanged. went for a picture of her with her eyes closed accompanied by the message Erreur 404, loi liberticide(liberty-killing law) not found - a parody of the error message that sometimes comes up when a website is down.

One poster wrote: “Game over! Arf! Tu peux rejouer Christine, essaie encore. (you can play again Christine, try again) Same player shoot again?

In actual fact that is what may happen – it is understood the National Assembly may bring a version of the law back again at the end of the month, so the saga is probably not over yet.

STORY: Digital protest over internet law

STORY: 45% admit pirating films and music

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