June 12, 2009 5:24:56 pm
The Internet has become such a part of today’s life,that it is now considered a necessity rather than a luxury. And,now a French court has ruled that access to the world wide web is a fundamental human right.
“Under the Declaration of 1789 (founding principles of the Republic set down after the French Revolution),every man is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“The Internet is a fundamental human right that cannot be taken away by anything other than a court of law,only when guilt has been established there,” the Constitutional Council in France has ruled.
The court’s pronouncement came in the wake of a ruling on legislation against pirates stealing copyrighted music,and video and films from the Internet,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.
Under the rule,pirates would be given three emailed warnings before having their access to the net cancelled. But the court struck down what would have been one of the world’s toughest laws against illegal downloading.
Laurent Bedoue,Head of the French magistrates union,said: “They approved 90 per cent of the text of the law,but eroded 90 per cent of its spirit.
“But ruling that every illegal downloading case must go to court,it has wiped the law off the statute books. With an estimated 180,000 cases a year,there is no way each one could be taken to court anyway without the most vast expense.”
The ruling is said to be a severe blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy,who lobbied to get the legislation passed,and French First Lady Carla Bruni,who has recorded three pop albums which can be downloaded from the net.
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