Unexpected news from an unexpected place. Et c'est très bien!:

French lawmakers...rejected a bill...that would have cut off the Internet connections of people who repeatedly download music or films illegally.

The bill would have also created the world's first government agency to track and punish those who steal music and film on the Internet.

The music and film industry had supported the bill, aimed at boosting revenue for their struggling sector and cracking down on illegal downloading. Critics said it would be too tough to apply and encroach on freedoms.

...the bill was rejected by a vote of 21-15.

The bill was passed by the parliament last week, so everyone and their poodle expected the legislation to pass the National Assembly. As TorrentFreak notes, though, it wasn't popular with the public from the beginning:

From a survey of 1004 individuals representative of the French Internet user, 60% of respondents said they were not in favor of the law (42% were strongly against), with a third saying they support it "somewhat". Only those respondents over 65 years old showed greater support, with 53% in favor and 41% against. Despite this, 64% of the respondents in this category felt that the graduated response wont be affective at all.

Interestingly, there was no difference between the different age groups in the expected effectiveness of the new anti-piracy legislation....Just 24% of respondents said that they felt the 'graduated response' would be "very" or "somewhat" effective, with a huge 69% believing it will fail.

The legislation would have forced Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to send warnings to alleged copyright infringers under a three-strikes-and-your-unplugged rule. It also law would have made it possible to order ISPs to block sites like The Pirate Bay.

Opponents of the law shouldn't pop open the champagne just yet, though. The government plans to "resubmit the measure to both houses of parliament after legislators return from their Easter break on April 27."

Who do the people of France have to thank for the heroic stand? The Socialist party, who've opposed the measure from the beginning. They also have the best quotes:

There was a wind of revolt in the country, which engulfed the Assembly and made us move from opposition to the majority...The government is in trouble now.

So, good job socialists, viva La Resistance keep up the good work. For more on piracy and copyright, go here.