Ars Technica reports on France’s reworking of the “three strikes” copyright law. The difference between this version of the law and the previous one (which did not pass constitutional muster) is that the decisions on sanctions after the third offense is now the responsibility of the courts instead of HADOPI (the copyright authority) itself.
Of particular note is this parenthetical quote from the article:
A group of French hackers has already begun to work on software that cracks the passwords on locked WiFi networks so that there’s an element of plausible deniability when law enforcement tries to go after home network owners.
Also of note is a recent post from La Quadrature du Net on the subject. The post is in French, but from what I can gather reading an automatic translation, appears to harshly criticize the law for “reducing the courts to simply rubber stamp.” (Original text: “rèduisant les tribunaux á de simples chambres d’enregistrement.”)
A translation of the title of the law to English is also a bit disturbing: “Bill on the criminal protection of literary and artistic property on the internet.” This is phrasing to be avoided for similar reasons to those that the FSF cites in recommending against the use of “intellectual property.”
I sympathize with those in France who are quite possibly stuck with this fascist system. I know in the US, this kind of thing simply wouldn’t fly.