Starting in January 2009, French users bittorrenting the latest film or music from singer Carla Bruni can get the guillotine -- from the Internet at least. That's the plan approved by the French presidential cabinet last week. It goes to a vote in the French Parliament later this year.
Under the 'three strikes plan', individuals who do not cease their illegal downloads after 2 (very official) warnings will be have their broadband service disconnected for 1 year. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said "There's no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone."
The proposed legislation would set up a government agency with an annual budget of about $23 million to manage this effort. Interestingly, similar legislation was rejected (by a slim margin) in the European Parilament in April. Despite the success of Itunes and other pay services, the problem of piracy continues to be a topic of serious concern throughout the world as nations seek ways to protect the interests of media companies without infringing on the civil liberties of its citizens in the monitoring of their net traffic.