The new law means that suspected file sharers who spread copyrighted material will first receive two warnings. The first warning will send by email, the second warning by letter. However, if the suspect continues to file share, the person’s Internet connection will be shut down.
The bill, which has been backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been criticized by several consumer groups who claim the law could affect innocent internet users. The EU is also reviewing whether the law violates human rights.
The law will also make it possible to impose heavy fines on the criminals. People who continue to share illegal material risk prison terms.
Families with children who share files will receive a slightly lighter punishment, which means a month’s suspension from the internet and a 3,750 euro fine (about 38,000 kroner), writes Businessweek.