Graduated response

France recently passed a law called “HADOPI” that will bar people from the internet for repeat copyright infringement (in English, Higher Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Copyright on the Internet)

Under France’s new Hadopi law, alleged copyright infringers will be hunted down systematically with the ultimate goal of decreasing piracy. Alleged offenders are identified by their Internet providers and will be reported to a judge once they have received three warnings.

The judge will then review the case and hand down any one of a range of penalties, from fines through to disconnecting the Internet connection of the infringer (source)

The big problem with this is that HADOPI requires that ISPs regulate who has access to the internet. This involves both tracking the real identity of every user and enforcing restrictions on who can use the internet.

The agency responsible for enforcing HADOPI has tracked the identity of 900,000 French "pirates" in the first nine months of opperation.

The first internet user to be barred from the internet under HADOPI is a 54-year old school teacher who doesn't know how to download movies.

Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur to the Commission on Human Rights, has condemned HADOPI in his annual report of 2011:

The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned by discussions regarding a centralized “on/off” control over Internet traffic. In addition, he is alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three-
strikes-law” in France and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.

… The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from Internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.