Three Strikes

France Declares Three Strikes Unconstitutional

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), June 10th, 2009
Commentary by Danny O'Brien

Before legislation becomes law in France, it must pass the muster of the Conseil Constitutionnel: a group of jurists who determine whether each new law is consistent with the principles and rules of France's constitution.

For the passage of Sarkozy's unpopular "three strikes" HADOPI legislation, the approval of the Conseil was the final hurdle to cross. If the council had approved the law, rightsholders in France would have been able to cast French citizens off the Internet with no judicial oversight, simply by alleging to the new HADOPI administrative body that they were repeat copyright infringers. These citizens would then have their names added to a national Internet blacklist for up to a year, and ISPs would be subject to financial penalties if they gave these exiles access to the Internet.