[EFF] European Parliament to Sarkozy: No "Three Strikes" Here

EFF (which has been following the Bono report closely since the first attempts were made to "hijack" it last October) collaborated with activists across Europe to co-ordinate support for the amendment, and wrote to all MEPs yesterday to point out the real dangers of graduated response, and urge a vote for both parts. French Net activists, including the new Squaring the Net initiative, contacted their MEPs en masse to oppose the French Government's recommendation. And Guy Bono, the author of the report, had this to say in the plenary:

"On this subject, I am firmly opposed to the position of some Member States, whose repressive measures are dictated by industries that have been unable to change their business model to face necessities imposed by the information society. The cut of Internet access is a disproportionate measure regarding the objectives. It is a sanction with powerful effects, which could have profound repercussions in a society where access to the Internet is an imperative right for social inclusion."

Both parts of the amendment passed. (You can watch the vote in French, English and German - it's about two minutes in.).

The entertainment industry originally intended the Bono Report on the Cultural Industries to be a stalking horse for their new approach, encouraging MEPs to insert language that would show support for copyright extension, banning Net users, and censoring the Net in the interests of rightsholders.

Instead it has turned into a watershed: a clear rejection of the strategy of forcing the telecommunications industry to act as a private police force for entertainment lobby — and a positive endorsement of the Net's free flow of information, and a positive agenda for copyright reform. It seems like the music industry will remain the only group to believe that spying, filtering and punishing your own customers is a good idea: either for business, or for society as a whole.