France's Three Strikes Enforcement Agency... Pirated A Font For Its Logo

from the oooops dept

We've been highlighting how Nicolas Sarkozy -- who was the original strong supporter of "three strikes" proposals to kick people off the internet based on accusations (not convictions) -- and his political party have been caught time and time again infringing on the copyright of others. It looks like that's happening again in an even more embarrassing fashion. The organization that's been designated to deal with three strikes in France, Hadopi, unveiled a new logo... that used an unlicensed font, that had been created by France Telecom and had not been licensed for use by anyone else. Hadopi had to scramble and try to find a new font once called on this, and issued an "apology," but will it allow those accused of infringement online the right to "apologize" as well?

These may seem like minor issues, but they're actually quite instructive. The point is that due to the way copyright law is set up, people infringe unintentionally all the time. Even the biggest defenders of copyright do so. And that is the problem with any sort of system that punishes people for something as minor as three infringements -- and it's even worse when its three accusations of infringement, rather than actual convictions. It creates a massive liability for the way everyone -- even copyright defenders -- do things every day. But, of course, the big powerful folks -- the ones who passed and support this law -- can just apologize and ignore the consequences. Everyone else? Good luck.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Ha!

    Well, it seems pretty clear to me that, for Hadopi, this is steeeerike one!

    A couple more goofs like that and they won't be allowed onto the internet their supposed to be policing, which should be fun.

    It'd be wierd to be sititng in a hotel room with the leaders of Hadopi andLily Allen, suggest that we all get pizza, and have no one be able to use a quick google search on their laptops or smart phones because of their own idiotic rules....

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Ha!

    Wow, am I ever a typo idiot today....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Don't you get it?

    All this copyright hullabaloo doesn't apply to IMPORTANT people. They have us cowed, as befits our roll.

    Now excuse me, I have some slashfic to write. It might be worth turning into a fanfilm. I'll let you know how it goes.

     

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  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Ha!

    It's all good. We still like ya.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    drewsk, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    First Strike for Hadopi

    Now they only need two more. Would love to see them police the "french" internet that they've no access to...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    One rule for them, another for us...

    TAM and his Corporate brown nosing masters will undoubtedly wave their hands dismissively and sate its "no big deal" and "they fixed it right away," since its Big Corp, they get a pass. If it was you or me infringing any aspect of copyright, however, then its Off with their Heads!

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds, after all.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    MCR, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Only strike 1

    It's only their first strike, so they still have an opportunity to clean up their act. Sarkozy's on strike two though. He has to be very careful and not swing at a pitch in the dirt!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Are these strikes accumulated in a rolling system? Like 3 strikes in a 1-year period or something?

     

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  9.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Science Daily recently had an article "Why Powerful People - Many of Whom Take a Moral High Ground - Don't Practice What They Preach"


    Sarkozy's behaviour certainly provides some compelling evidence for this idea.

    Intellectual Property Laws + Digital Technology = Epic Fail.

    It's nearly impossible to use digital media and not violate several intellectual property laws. More restrictive laws will only make these problems worse, not better.
    Fanaticism breeds fanaticism. A movement for copyright expansion leads to movements for copyright abolition, and the kind of hypocrisy we are seeing coming from people like Sarkozy makes it easier for the abolitionists to take the moral high ground.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    Three per inning

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Those French. They're such gosh darned kidders, yeah?
    Please Mr. Sarkozy, give us strike 3. We really need to
    see you, the great bastion of moral outrage, weasel your way out. It'll be so much fun.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    How long will he be on the net

    Any bets on how long Nicolas Sarkozy's entire family will be allowed to remain on the internet after this? I don't think people should make false accusations that can't be punished, but I know people will...

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    hahaha

    "Are these strikes accumulated in a rolling system? Like 3 strikes in a 1-year period or something?"

    Hahahaha good one! No, it wont be rolling or time-frame, it will be EVER. 3 strikes (aka mere accusation) EVER, and you are cut off. Possibly, you could go to another ISP, and start over there, but I wouldnt count on THAT lasting either. Soon it will be 3 strikes and you can never have an internet connection ever again. This is the goal of Big Media. They DO NOT want you to have access to anything THEY dont provide TO you for a FEE. Anything less, and they will lobby and buy politicians as much as they can to stop.

    This is the world we now live in.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Wild, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    No its three per batter
    =)

     

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  15.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Legal Staff (heehee!)

    If it is this easy to "accidentally" infringe on someone's copyright with a full legal team, how are those of us without one supposed to navigate these maze of what is okay and what isn't?

    This is why there should be exemptions for non-commercial infringement, along with very defined rules for what "non-commercial" means.

    I'm such a dreamer.

     

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  16.  
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    TriZz (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Ha!

    That's strike one on the typo. 2 more and you're off of TechDirt!

     

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  17.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Actually, what it proves is that someone, somewhere felt that they could duplicated the french telecom font, and give it away on their "free fonts license free fonts" site.

    Essentially, they are victims of fraud, not copyright infringers. They are not different from someone telling them the car they just bought was actually stolen. They aren't the thieves, just another victim.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    Can some one accused of copyright infringement use this excuse to avoid a strike?

     

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  19.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    I do have to add this:

    First, the title is misleading, because they didn't pirate a font. The firm they used to make the logo used a font they don't have the rights for, but hadopi or whatever their name is didn't pirate a font. Very misleading, to say they pirated something is extremely misleading.

    Second, and just as important, the font they used wasn't EXACTLY the font in question (called bienvenue, or welcome), as the letters were not exactly the same, but close enough to be recognized. It gives more credence to the idea of a font from a free font site or something similar.

    It would be much more helpful if you can read french, as the story in french is significantly different from the rather slanted "ding" post from torrent freak. By taking their bias and adding your own onto it Mike, you make it sound like the Hadopi people hacked into someone computer to steal something, which just isn't the case.

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    "Essentially, they are victims of fraud, not copyright infringers. They are not different from someone telling them the car they just bought was actually stolen. They aren't the thieves, just another victim."

    Sigh, do you have even one iota of evidence to back up that scenario as truth? I'm definitely willing to listen, as Mike has made mistakes in the past by not digging deeper, but somehow I doubt it on this one....

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    MCR, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, since Hadopi placed the infringing material on their website, they are at fault as they're responsible for all content on their site.

    Do you think if a normal person posted a copyrighted item on their own website, since someone told them it was in the public domain, they would get a pass?

     

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  22.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Question:

    "We've been highlighting how Nicolas Sarkozy -- who was the original strong supporter of "three strikes" proposals to kick people off the internet based on accusations (not convictions)"

    You know, I've been wondering, given the whole baseball analogy, if this three strikes based on accusations as opposed to convictions can't be applied to the Cubs to help them win the world series. I see it going something like this:

    Announcer: It's a lovely day here at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs enter Game 7 tied with the Yankees in the World Series, presented by Sound Exchange. Let's go the action on the field.

    Umpire: Play Ball!

    Carlos Zambrano: Okay, Jeter is out!



    Umpire: What do you mean? You haven't thrown the ball!

    Zambrano: No, he swung. I saw him do it!

    Jeter: I didn't swing! You haven't thrown the ball!

    Zambrano: No, you swung, I saw it. In fact, you swung three times!

    Jeter: I did not! Hey, this isn't fair!

    Zambrano: Can you prove you DIDN'T swing at my non-existent pitches?

    Jeter: What!!!?? How the hell could I do that? That doesn't make any sense!

    Umpire: YOU'RE OUT!!!!

     

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  23.  
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    compgeek (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    if an average citizen is seen using unlicensed material in something they create they get sued. it doesnt matter if it is accidental or not. it doesnt matter where they got it. they get sued. why is it that a corporation can get the benefit of the doubt (which is what you are giving them) but the lowly consumer cannot? someone i know was fined for using a virus scanner they got with a "1 year free" coupon. the coupon was legit. they got it from 3rd party but it was a legit coupon. they got fined for "pirating" the software anyway because the company dismissed the coupon after this person used it. the company admitted the coupon was real and dropped (and sent it to a collection agency afterwards, illegaly. zombie debt, look it up) the fine though. anyway what i am getting at (and what you missed) is: if we accidentally infringe why do we get fined, but the corporations get off without even a slap on the wrist?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    Copyright makes victims out of everyone.

     

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  25.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Go read the story in french - the logo was created by Plan Créatif, a third part design company. I would suspect that, like many organizations, Hadopi was not aware that they needed not only to register the logo, but to assure rights of the underlying font(s) used. It would appear to be an error by Plan Créatif, or a misrepresentation.

    It's a fail, but certainly Hadopi didn't pirate anything themselves.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    "First, the title is misleading, because they didn't pirate a font. The firm they used to make the logo used a font they don't have the rights for, but hadopi or whatever their name is didn't pirate a font. Very misleading, to say they pirated something is extremely misleading."

    First, the title "pirate" is misleading. People dont "pirate" they infringe copyright. No one is deprived of property as in true piracy. Very misleading, to call people "pirates" when its not, is a CIVIL, not criminal, infraction, and is infringement, not theft.

    "Second, and just as important, the font they used wasn't EXACTLY the font in question (called bienvenue, or welcome), as the letters were not exactly the same, but close enough to be recognized. It gives more credence to the idea of a font from a free font site or something similar."

    People dont "pirate" music. The files they use arent EXACTLY the music in question (due to being compressed and having 30-60% of the data being discarded due to one sound masking another, and using psycho-acoustic modelling) , but close enough to be recognized.

    Really, you are off the plot now. You are grasping at ANYTHING that will exonerate your Corporate masters and vilify everyone else (ie, the consumer). You are stretching so far in your twisted, tortured attempt at rationalizing behavior on one side (your Corporate overlords) that you sound completely ridiculous. And when you are called out on it, you dont argue the merits or points at all, you are either silent or you build straw-mans or attack the poster.

    Pathetic weasel.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh, cool, so piracy is fine as long as pirates don't hack into someone's computer to "steal" something? Nice.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    The French are Out

    Nicolas Sarkozy's national government has already committed at least three copyright violations, so, by their own rules, shouldn't all of France be denied Internet access?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Johnny Canada, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    @ The Anti Mike.

    They had to sign off on the proof of the design. The legal team should have caught it.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Question:

    Funny, but it sure would speed up a slow 7th inning...

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    The font used wasn't exactly the font in question because the design form modified the original font (Bienvenue).

    I suspect that if I "pirated" some music and changed a few notes you would have no problem going off on one of your uninformed rants about how I'm an evil immoral pirate thief destroying the music industry.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It doesn't matter under their own rules they just passed under HADOPI every person is responsible for their networks they did this specifically to close a "loophole" that gives people an "excuse" to pirate anything and you wont be able to go to another ISP as they will create a national database of infringers from what I understand.

    So they are responsible even if they were not directly responsible is that what they fought for and passed for a law.

    Now that is ironic.

    Want to see more irony?

    How about artists that don't want to pay ISPs for the privilege to put their content on the internet and are all grouping together to lobby for net neutrality :)

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/rem-everybody-hurts-without-network-neutrality .ars

    Probably because they saw the research that said it would switch wealth to the ISPs instead of content creators LoL

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/new-study-no-net-neutrality-means-weaker-inte rnet-economy.ars

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    DTS, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re:

    > Second, and just as important, the font they used wasn't EXACTLY the font in question (called bienvenue, or welcome), as the letters were not exactly the same, but close enough to be recognized.


    I'm not sure how this even helps your argument at all. The relevant industries (such as music) have voiced their displeasure strongly at deriative works from supposed property they own the rights to. For them as long as something is "close enough to be recognised" it qualifies as infringement.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oops, design firm*

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    The People.

    The people from France will have a bumpy ride with the legislation they enacted.

    When even the government that have much more resources can't keep their own act clean, individuals have no chance of doing any better.

    Copyright is for everything on the internet and this could lead to a lot of people being disconected not only for music but for realy anything from text to videos.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    robin, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: TAM Fails Again

    "It would be much more helpful if you can read french, as the story in french is significantly different from the rather slanted "ding" post from torrent freak."


    en fait, l'article d'origine au pub numerama.com est fidelement decrit par les mecs chez torrentfreak. l'agence creatif est reduit a se defender avec une admission de "erreur de manipulation".

    ce que veut dire, that the articles, even in english, are accurately describing the hypocrisy and arrogance of an elite class.

    nice try bud.....

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Burgos, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re:

    ...used a font [or video clip, music, artwork] they don't have the rights for...
    Yes, that pretty much summarizes what copyright infringement/piracy is. Thank you very much TAM.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 5:19pm

    Hadopi has issued an apology through gritted teeth, but while France Telecom-Orange has confirmed it won’t be taking legal action over the infringement of its rights, the same cannot yet be said of Jean-François Porchez. He has contacted his lawyer to see what can be done.

    That’s one huge embarrassing first strike for you, Hadopi.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Mike : please consider implementing a comments rating system ala youtube so that dumb comments get blanked out if X people decide they're worthless...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    David Muir (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    All these loophole closures

    Strongly derivative work. Unintentional infringement. Network or supply chain responsibility. Is this all seriously in the French legislation? Add all that to three mere accusations of infringement and you've got a nation headed for Internet impoverishment.

    It is scary like a horror story, which makes me hope that the claims about the legislation made in the comment are exaggerated.

     

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  41.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    You know, RD, you are so much better when you are taking your lithium. You managed a whole post without swearing.

    Too bad your post just doesn't have any relevance, except a pretty pathetic attempt to twist words into your favor.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    It's so adorable when they fight.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jan 12th, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    No "The Anti-Mike", RD is actually right. Especially when he said "And when you are called out on it, you dont argue the merits or points at all, you are either silent or you build straw-mans or attack the poster"--which you willfully demonstrated!

     

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  44.  
    icon
    ethorad (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    Re:

    And how about preventing anonymous comments, or would you not be in support of that?

    I think the problem with a rating system is it runs the risk of being used to silence dissenters rather than promoting intelligent discourse. The comments currently on here are a whole world away from those on youtube anyway.

    PS. LOLFAG!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Jimr (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:30am

    Lessons learned & Teaching the hard way

    A small group of people in France need to get together and officially register some copyrightable material. Then simply accuse every member of the Hadopi organization and Nicolas Sarkozy and every member of his political party of infringement. Repeat three time and presto they are all kicked off the internet!

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Then back to the main point. If the group that is supposed to enforce these rules cannot figure out what they need to do to abide by them, how is anyone else supposed to?

    Now if they find someone else "accidentally" infringed, does that person get a pass on the strike?

    Keep this in mind: Although you are probably correct that they did not have knowledge of this infringement, there is likely no proof of that. Because who could document something like "we don't know that we cannot use this font"? So, we have to take their word that they did not know and were ignorant that they needed to research it. If that can be a defense, can't anyone just say "I didn't know?"

     

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  47.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Eye

    Going beyond the indisputable fact that Hadopi has committed it's first strike of copyright infringement, they sure got that logo right.

    That logo is spying on people with it's large eye.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    best. troll. ever.

    Pray tell how this is not the same scenario as an infringing YouTube upload.

    You're view is so black and white that I cannot understand how you don't see HADOPI as guilty, yet somehow Google is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re: Don't you get it?

    Dark Helmet / angry dude?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Aren't you the one who keeps suggesting that sites like YouTube be held responsible for whatever is posted there, even if it's done by third parties? That they should not allow something to be posted unless they've done some kind of due diligence and made sure there's no IP violation?

    Here we have the exact same situation and you're now suggesting that the hadopi site be relieved of responsibility and viewed as a victim for putting up something they weren't aware was an IP violation.

    So how come in the world of Anti-Mike, YouTube has a due diligence responsibility but hadopi does not?

    You could just be refreshingly honest in your answer (if you even bother to give one) and admit that the double-standard stems from the fact that you're perversely compelled to argue against whatever Mike's position happens to be at any given moment, regardless of whether it turns your various responses, taken as a whole, into a hellish contradictory mess.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    cliverozario, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 3:00am

    outrageous

    The whole The Hadopi agency copyright thing is ridiculous, but fairly hilarious, this particular article about it made me laugh alot http://bit.ly/4OrDwu http://bit.ly/5Tev0u .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Jay, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 9:09am

    Three Strikes?

    Sunday’s ‘New York Times’ ran an interesting story about the ineffectiveness of France’s three-strikes anti-piracy law. According to the Times, not a single warning letter has been sent out since the law went into force...
    More on this available: http://www.themusicvoid.com/2010/07/three-strikes-and-youre-out-but-then-again-maybe-not/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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