The 'loi HADOPI' bill was introduced to Parliament by France's Cultural Minister, Christine Albanel and has now been approved by the Council of Ministers. If it passes a Parliamentary vote later in a few months, HADOPI will become law early in 2009.
Organisations vocally opposing HADOPI include the usual consumer and civil liberties groups. No surprise there, but the fact that both the European Parliament and France's own state data protection agency have also complained about the move certainly is.
Quoted in The Times, Albanel says that it will take "a preventive and educational approach" to the problem of piracy. In which case one has to ask why France needs yet more laws, and yet more punitive measures.
The answer, at least in the eyes of the French government, can probably be found in the fact that some 300 people have been convicted for piracy over the last couple of years in France. Yet piracy remains as prevalent as ever. Certainly there has been no slowing down of the dive in popularity of recording industry sales across Europe.
This is actually quite clever, because once the initial fuss dies down as it inevitably will, the law will remain. More importantly, the onus on enforcing that law will sit firmly with the ISPs. So guess who the public will blame for what many see as a Draconian infringement of their freedom?
Not least because the cost of that enforcement, the cost of deep packet inspection monitoring, will inevitably be passed on to the law abiding Internet consumer. Oh, and the likely outcome of many innocents being caught in the anti-piracy net while the commercial scale pirates get away with it.