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French officials have thrown their weight behind a three strikes anti-piracy law to penalise illegal downloaders.

The Independent reports that from January, broadband users downloading copyrighted films and music will have three warnings before their connection is terminated by their provider.

Adrian Strain, the director of communications for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said the group gave the scheme its full support.

"We hope it will get through the legislative process as quickly as possible. We're very pleased to see France taking the lead in addressing the critical issue of internet piracy," he commented.

In an effort to encourage legal file transfers, the new rules will also remove copyrighted data standards, meaning that videos and music will be easier to share between different systems.

Virgin Media has recently announced its intentions to adopt a similar warning system in line with anti-piracy methods proposed by the British Phonographic Industry.

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