French politicians have rejected a bill that would have cut off the internet service of anyone found to be three times repeatedly illegally downloading music or videos.

The legislation, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, with a calling from music industry for stricter laws as revenues have fallen have set a tough global precedent in cracking down on internet piracy that anyone found to have broken the law would have been traced via their IP (internet protocol) address and handed up to three warnings before their internet service be cut off for up to a year. Offenders would have had to keep paying for their internet service despite it having been cut off.

Some consumer groups had warned that the wrong people might be punished. The socialist parliamentarian Patrick Bloche said the bill was dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky.

The legislation was approved by the Senate, France's upper house, But it was defeated in a vote of the National Assembly.

However, Ministers said an amended version of the bill would go before parliament in the next few weeks.