Four weeks after its surprise rejection, the French "Creation and Internet" law has finally been adopted by the National Assembly, with 296 votes in favor and 233 against.
The law includes the implementing of a three-strikes scheme under which an independent administrative authority - called HADOPI - would be entitled to collect infringers' data from their Internet Service Providers as requested by artists' collecting societies, and other organizations representing rights holders, and to ultimately have their Internet access cut.
"This is good news," said labels body Snep's director general Hervé Rony, who added that he deplored some Socialist Party deputies' strong comments against the law.
The draft maintains a controversial article under which copyright infringers would still have to pay for their Internet subscription for the period while access was suspended.
The draft law now has to pass the Senate's examination, which is scheduled tomorrow (May 13) and it is anticipated it will be approved without any difficulty. In the event of any amendments, the draft would have to return a last time in front of the National Assembly, which would have the last word.
The law should then be challenged by its opponents in front of the Constitutional Council, which has the power to rule out the parts it considers in violation of the French constitution.
The government is determined to act fast and expects the law to be applicable by this fall, said ruling party UMP deputy Franck Riester, who carried the draft in front of the Assembly.