The European Parliament has had its fifth and final vote on whether to keep the 'three-strikes' anti-piracy legislation, and has decided to vote in favour of dropping the controversial policy.

The votes for an amendment to the legislation were overwhelming – part of a telecoms reform package – with 407 members of parliament in favour of dropping the policy, and only 57 wanting to keep the 'three-strikes' in place.

The change means that France will now find it incredibly difficult to adopt 'three-strikes' as a way to crack down on online music piracy – something President Sarkozy and his musician wife Carla Bruni have been actively lobbying for.

Important restatement

Speaking about the vote, Viviane Reding, the EU's Telecoms Commissioner said the move was "an important restatement of the fundamental rights of EU citizens."

The actual amendment to the policy states that: "no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of users, without prior ruling by the judicial authorities."

Some experts have noted that this does mean that other methods may be put into place to deter pirates on the internet, including things like bandwidth throttling.

Via Boing Boing