French presidential officials caught illegally downloading music

Summary:French presidential officials have been caught illegally downloading copyrighted material; ironic, as the officials could have broken the French 'three strikes' laws twice over.

Just as both employees of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the RIAA, one of the main proponents behind the controversial SOPA bill currently going through Congress, more high-profile organisations and government departments are found to be illegally downloading copyrighted material.

Enter the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Members of staff at the Lysée Palace, home and office of the French president, could be found to be breaking some of the toughest anti-piracy measures in Europe, France's own 'three strikes' law.

(Adapted from source: CBS News)

Last week, Russian website YouHaveDownloaded opened its doors as it claimed to track around 20 percent of all public torrent downloads. You can check your IP address and others against the database of almost 53 million users and over 110,000 tracked torrents to see if you or prominent others are found illegally downloading copyrighted material.

Sarkozy's anti-piracy legislation involves cutting off pirates after three proven conditions, known as the 'three-strike' rule.

Husband to musician Carla Bruni, Sarkozy pushed through the controversial rule in the French parliament last year, thought to be the toughest anti-piracy law in Europe.

Reports suggest that around sixty French web users were on their third and final strike as of October this year.

According to TorrentFreak, a total of six infringing downloads were tracked back to Sarkozy's residence, double the three-strike limit.

The Irish government had previously implemented a three-strike rule, but on Monday indicated that it would be replaced with a UK-like system where court orders could be invoked to block access to sites instead.

Along with the U.S. Department for Homeland Security and the RIAA, copyright holders themselves, from Sony, Universal and Fox employees were found to be downloading content -- some of which belonged to their employers.

It would have been an almost perfect hypocrisy had Bruni's music been illegally downloaded. Alas, it's not the case. Someone clearly has a taste for The Beach Boys though.

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Topics: Piracy, Legal

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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