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French parliament unexpectedly kills Net piracy bill

With few members present of final vote, lawmaking body votes down a bill that would have compelled Internet service providers to punish suspected copyright violators.

The French parliament on Thursday voted down an Internet piracy law, which had largely been expected to pass.

Assemblee Nationale

The "Creation and Internet" law, which won the preliminary approval of the parliament last week, would compel Internet service providers to take graduated actions against customers accused of illegally downloading copyrighted material. After warning a customer against such actions for a third time, an ISP could suspend the person's Internet access for up to a year.

Because the bill was expected to pass, few members of parliament were present for the final vote on the bill, according to the Associated Press. Opponents of the legislation, led by the Socialist party, rejected the measure by a vote of 21 to 15.

The legislation had the support of the ruling UMP party, to which President Nicolas Sarkozy belongs, as well as the support of the Recording Industry Association of America. Backers of the bill intend to re-introduce an amended version within the coming weeks, according to reports.

The entertainment industry has suggested to the United States' Congress that it should consider adopting European methods of combating copyright infringement. The United States, members of the European Union, and other countries may also consider making ISPs liable for infringement through international treaties.