We take having the Internet for granted. Wherever we go, whether we have our laptops or our tablet devices, even our mobile phones, we can connect to 'some form' of the world wide web. We can check Facebook on the Tube, we can send emails to our colleagues when we're in a Starbucks having our caramel and peppermint mocha latte with a triple shot of espresso, heavy on the whipped cream, with a skinny whip frap pour whole milk on top with a couple of shakes of cinnamon, or instant message our friends when we're at the university library.
(If anyone actually orders that drink at a Starbucks with proof - you get serious brownie points)
But the French government is closer than ever to getting Internet pirates kicked off the web permanently. You may think, "pfft, sure, they bloody well deserve it, the thieving little gits". Think twice. Whilst the French president Nicolas Sarkozy calls this, "a decisive moment for the future of a civilised Internet", it makes me think whether he's just annoyed that the popularity of such a common medium is what makes his incredibly hot wife more popular than him.
Nevertheless, some consider having access to the Internet "an essential commodity" and that blocking access would conflict with "civil liberties and human rights". The French think this. You get three strikes, warnings which are emailed and posted to you, and if you break those three strikes, you'll be barred from using or accessing the world wide web.
Thankfully, the rest of the European Parliament have rejected such calls to extend this across Europe, whilst Sweden is slowly advancing its way into passing a similar law to the French. But have they all really thought about it?
Without the Internet, which in essence, means having a device connected to a wider network of computers, people banned may not be able to be hooked up to monitoring machines in hospitals, have full access to cellphones, in certain countries it would mean no more voting, and perhaps not even being able to pay your taxes. I stress to add at this point, I say this in theory.
So many of us pirate without necessarily realising it. As I've said before, the legal jargon isn't easy to understand to the ordinary lay person, and natural law of allowing your little sister to burn a copy of a CD you bought is illegal - for example. Why is it? She's my sister. She can have Joni Mitchell on her iPod if she so chooses to.
So what's your take on it? Opinions, thoughts, ramblings, ravings - throw me whatever you've got, because I personally think the occasional heavy fine will deter those who pirate knowingly, willingly and without due care or attention. Talk to me.