In the dead of night, 16 French lawmakers approve bill that punishes accused downloaders

Do not cue the stirring and courageous strains of La Marseillaise: In an unscheduled late-night vote with just a few lawmakers present, French Secretary of State Roger Karoutchi pressed the National Assembly to vote immediately on HADOPI, the controversial "Creation and Internet Law" that would deprive citizens of Net access for up to a year if they're accused of illegal file-sharing. The bill passed 12-4.

The Open... blog has a useful translation of Numerama, one of the first French-language blogs on the scene. French observers reported earlier this week that HADOPI will be enforced in part by software to be installed on every computer, keeping the machines under constant surveillance by the users' ISPs.

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