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Internet users in France who download music and films illegally could have their web access shut down by a government body, under a ground-breaking industry agreement backed by Nicolas Sarkozy, the president and reported by The Financial Times.

In a landmark speech Nicolas Sarkozy said: “The rights of authors, the preservation of creativity, the recognition of the rights of each artist, of each performer… was an important commitment of my presidential campaign.

Sarkozy said he feared the internet was becoming a “lawless zone where outlaws can pillage works with abandon or, worse, trade in them in total impunity. And on whose backs? On artists’ backs.”

Three-strikes-and-you-are-out policy means repeat offenders will get a warning threatening to cut off or suspend internet access if they do not stop illegal file-sharing.

This is a step forward in creating a formalized business. It’s about time someone is playing hard ball by removing access to the Internet for the ones being discovered as illegal downloaders. Hopefully China and Russia will follow Sarkozy’s lead and create similar laws that holds their citizens to the highest morals and ethics. According to a report released by IPI, rampant global piracy of recorded music has cost the U.S. $12.5 billion in economic output and 71,060 jobs annually.

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