from the better-late-than-never dept
One of the most important aspects of the UK's Hargreaves Report was that it called for copyright policy to be based on evidence. It also noted that so far that simply hadn't been the case, and that practically all of the so-called "studies" used to justify laws in this area came from the copyright industries, with missing or dubious methodologies.
The French three-strikes scheme known as HADOPI (actually the name of the government agency that oversees its implementation) is a perfect example of such dogma-based legislation: no research was done into how files were being shared or even whether they did any harm (there's a fair amount of evidence that file sharing increases sales).
So it's interesting to see HADOPI putting out a call for some research into streaming sites (original in French):
The commissioned study focuses on an economic analysis of streaming sites and direct download where illegal practices are the most common, offering cultural property in the areas of music and video.
This new interest in streaming sites is presumably a consequence of Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement at the recent Forum d'Avignon that "we have to tackle the streaming web sites." It's certainly welcome that HADOPI is doing some research before it draws up its proposals in this area; but shouldn't it have done the same with the original three-strikes scheme?
There's an interesting parallel with SOPA here. In the section with the splendid title "Denying U.S. Capital To Notorious Foreign Infringers", we read the following:
Report to Congress- The Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator shall, not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report that includes the following:
Again, it's good that some research into that "significant harm" will be carried out, but shouldn't that come before the legislation is drawn up and enacted, not after it?
(1) An analysis of notorious foreign infringers and a discussion of how these infringers violate industry norms regarding the protection of intellectual property.
(2) An analysis of the significant harm inflicted by notorious foreign infringers on consumers, businesses, and intellectual property industries in the United States and abroad.