[JURIST] The French Constitutional Council [official website, in French] on Thursday approved [judgment, in French] a controversial Internet piracy law [JURIST news archive] that would restrict access to individuals who use the Internet to violate intellectual property laws. The bill was approved by the French Parliament [JURIST report] in September. Under the so-called "three strikes" law, the French government could send notices to Internet service providers to terminate an individual's Internet access for up to one year after a third violation of intellectual property laws for downloading or sharing movies and music. One of the key reasons this version of the law was upheld by the court, after it struck down an earlier version [JURIST report], is the requirement of judicial review prior to denial of Internet service. With court approval, the French government will move swiftly to enact the law. It is believed that the first notifications to violators could be sent at the beginning of 2010 [EU Observer report].
In contrast to the efforts of the French government, the Finnish government last week announced that Internet access is a legal right [JURIST report] becoming, the first country to make such a statement. In August, the British Department for Business Innovation and Skills [official website] proposed stricter sanctions [JURIST reports] against illegal file-sharing that would include restricting and suspending user Internet access.