French Court Throws Out Anti-Piracy Law

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2009 2:26 PM CDT
The French will no longer keep pirates off the internet without a trial.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – France’s constitutional council today shot down the country’s newly minted “three strikes” law against Internet piracy, Ars Technica reports. The council said the law, which set up an administrative body to punish pirates, violated basic principles of French law, assigning essentially judicial duties to a non-judicial body, and putting the burden of proof on the accused, not the accusers.

“Every man is presumed innocent until he has been proven guilty,” the council wrote, and freedom of speech is “a prerequisite for democracy.” If enacted, the Création et Internet law would have set up a high authority in France, which would warn or sanction file-sharers at copyright holders’ behest. Anyone caught three times would have been forever barred from the Internet.