France’s National Assembly has unanimously voted to adopt two amendments to the controversial Creation and Internet anti-piracy law, although a final vote on the heavily revised bill has been delayed until September.

The bill, known by its acronym Hadopi II, has now been amended so that restricting email cannot be used as a sanction for people found guilty of pirating material. The National Assembly has also removed the “creative contribution”, which would have amounted to a surcharge of $2.80 (€2) for internet users and apparently intended to benefit artists.

The law, which has been making the rounds of France’s legislature and which has stirred much concern in the past several months, is in the process of being debated in France’s lower house. Frederic Mitterrand, the county’s new Culture Minister, called in ministers not to allow pirates to “drag culture into the gutter” as the debate opened yesteday (July 20)

The law will take a three-step to illegal downloaders, who will receive an email in the first instance, follow by a letter and finally, if they continue to offend, their home internet connection will be cut for a period of up to a year.

A series of changes have already been made to the bill, which would have given authority to an independent committee to cut off internet access. France’s highest legislative body ruled that it was unconstitutional and that only a judge could have authority to make that decision. The new agency will now only be able to make recommendations to a judge.