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Fine in first French anti-piracy case

BELFORT, France, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A French court has fined a man for illegally downloading two Rihanna songs in the first case under the country's new anti-piracy law.

Alain Prevost of Belfort, in eastern France, was fined $200.

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Although Prevost's wife admitted to being the one who actually downloaded the songs, Alain was fined because he paid for the Internet account over which the songs were downloaded, the BBC reported Friday.

Hadopi, the French government agency investigating on-line piracy, said it preparing cases against 14 other people it suspects of illegally downloading movies and music.

France anti-piracy law is a "three strikes" measure in which suspected pirates get three warnings about their activity; if the warnings are ignored their Internet connection is shut down and they can face further court action.

Prevost could have faced a fine of up to $2,000, but after telling the court of the involvement of his wife -- whom Prevost is divorcing -- the $400 fine sought by the prosecution was halved.

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