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Broadband consumers in France could now be threatened with disconnection for illegally sharing files online, it has been revealed.

The country's new legislation, which is similar to that being considered by UK authorities, will see persistent offenders sent an email warning, followed by a formal letter in an effort to stop them undertaking the activity.

People who take no notice of the warnings could then face court action, where they will either be fined or have their internet connections suspended.

Michel Thiolliere, a French senator, told the BBC: "The internet is a fabulous world, but it needs rules, if you want to get cinema, music or video games in the future."

He added that hopes are high that 95 per cent of filesharers will stop the activity after the second warning.

A number of organisations are against the introduction of similar legislation in the UK, with broadband provider TalkTalk launching a campaign on the issue.

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