French officials are looking to crack down on online piracy by proposing a new anti-piracy system which will cut off broadband connections to people who illegally download movies or music over the internet.

The pact involves French ISPs, owners of film and music rights and the French government. Under the agreement, they will co-operate in identifying illegal file-sharers who will be issued with first a warning and then the threat of a suspension or termination of their contract. The idea is to better combat piracy on a user-to-user basis, rather than organized piracy rings for which there are already strict sanctions including a maximum 300,000 euro fine and five years in jail.

The international recording industry is already calling this the "single most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy." Some consumer groups and politicians in France, however, believe the deal is too restrictive, anti-economic and against digital history.