Since Three Strikes Went Into Effect, Unauthorized File Trading Has Increased In France

from the nice-work dept

While I don’t believe that the new Hadopi “three strikes” law in France has started being enforced yet (due to data privacy questions), it technically went into effect at the beginning of the year, and was widely promoted around France. Of course, our big question was why anyone thought that such laws would actually make anyone buy. The general reasoning that supporters of such laws gave is that it would decrease unauthorized file trading, and those people would magically want to start buying again. But, of course, as mentioned at the time, we already have empirical data that this wouldn’t work. After all, here in the US, thousands of people were threatened with millions of dollars in fines for file sharing — a punishment significantly more stringent than losing your internet connection. And, rather than decrease the amount of unauthorized file trading, it only increased (quite a bit), often moving to more underground resources.

So it should come as little (i.e., no) surprise that in the few months since the Hadopi law has technically been in effect in France, reports have found an increase in unauthorized file trading, along with a notable shift from BitTorrent to other, less trackable, solutions.

So what’s next? Suing doesn’t work. Kicking people off the internet doesn’t work. Can we hope that maybe next on the list is actually putting in place a good business model?

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Comments on “Since Three Strikes Went Into Effect, Unauthorized File Trading Has Increased In France”

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:Lobo Santo (profile) says:


So what’s next? Suing doesn’t work. Kicking people off the internet doesn’t work. Can we hope that maybe next on the list is actually putting in place a good business model?

No, next on the list is harnessing several dead horses together for greater speed, as they’ve already passed the “but we’ve always ridden the dead horse this way” and the “form a committee to discuss how to make the dead horse more efficient” stages.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Others?

BitTorrent has been rather outdated for a long while. Not to say it’s not useful, because it’s an amazing tool for people who don’t want to host the downloads themselves, and it’s extremely effective for initial releases.

However, most Torrents die down after a month or two, with few seeders maintaining the download. If you want some longevity in your file hosting, the best place presently is probably free services like RapidShare (I know, shocking, isn’t it?) which have free upload/download limits of 200mb per file and download speeds of 100kbps (usually). Throw in some workaround programs like JDownloader, and you can get 800mb files with almost no hassle whatsoever.

…uh…for perfectly legitimate reasons, that is. You’d never want to use any of these things for illegal things, of course.


um file trading

go ahead explain NON-p2p methods for getitng files
is that me walking over to your house with 5 TB drives and then SHARING

whether its online or off the term should be sharing. I GIVE to you freely whether you give back or not is up to you.

THAT’S what sharing is, trading implies you have to give something to get something

and everything starts somewhere with someone and thats the real start of the share. THE trade aspect of p2p is to make it fair so more people can enjoy and such.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If you actually read the article, you’ll be surprised to find that the non-BitTorrent methods that people have moved to are not covered by the Hadopi laws.

That’s right. The “business saving” legislation that took years of lobbying and political buyouts doesn’t actually do anything. Hilarious, eh?

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Of course Unauthorized File Sharing has gone up. It makes perfect sense:

Old system: You share files and hope you don’t get sued.

New system: You share files and know when you’ll get sued because they’ll send you 2 warning letters first.

Imagine if schools went from “zero tolerance” on drugs to
“three strikes”. Of course drug use would go up, because everyone got 2 freebies.

Foolish, really, to think it would have any effect at all except this one.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“and we already know what will happen here in north america”

Political grand standing on the peoples behalf. People changing to an ISP that looks the other way. Better more anonymous methods of transfering files. People feeling more secure about downloading because of the new anonymity. People reading the news and asking what is this file sharing thing, then finding the wonderful world of P2P, bit torrent, weblockers, streaming video, etc.

All in all its a no win situation for the labels and studios. It will eventually escalate to infringing being a criminal offense, with people going to jail and will do no good. The studios like the labels are going have to adapt or fail as viable businesses.

Luci Temple (profile) says:


Thanks, great post 🙂

The only way to fix the problem is to acknowledge the reasons why so many people – otherwise law abiding citizens – do partake in this illegal activity. Part of the problem is anti-piracy campaigns that equate minor copyright infringement to large scale operations – the issue is more complex – this grandstanding is rejected by most people.

There are many good arguments for a better business model that meets consumer needs so that they don’t feel the need to infringe copyright. Capitalists with large mark ups often cite that they are priced according to market demand – what the market is willing to pay. Conversly, the file sharing movement is a sure sign that in fact many are questioning those prices and, without a middleground option, will take it for free rather than pay too much.

At other times people download what they can’t get through normal routes. Films are not always distributed to every country or every town – or at all. Once upon a time a ‘bootleg’ would find it’s way from person to person, but you had to be in the know. Now things get uploaded online instead. E.g. American Boy was a bootleg that inspired many filmmakers including Tarentino. When a later doc was made wanting to use clips from this (american prince) the best quality footage was not the director’s copy but rather the Youtube version.

Looking at file sharing in black and white legal terms allows no agreement between sides – instead we need to examine which situations where ethics and law are at odds and modify the law so that only the unethical cases are illegal.

I have a series of posts examining this issue in greater detail on my blog if you are interested – I welcome comments.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Piracy

I’m not sure looking at the ethics makes much sense either. Ethics are subjective and based on society. The internet is larger than any one ethical group, so how do you reconcile the ethics of the content creators on one side of the planet with the ethics of consumers on the other side? In fact, that is what is happening. Some content creators (or content creator middle-men) are complaining that downloading their content is unethical while some portion of the population clearly disagrees (most people don’t behave in a way that conflicts with their ethics).

John Mitchell (profile) says:

Risk-free downloading

There is a certain “Duh! What did they expect?” element to this. I have no doubt that if we had a three-srikes law in the U.S., unauthorized downloading would spike. “Download all you can before the first strike.” If people knew that the first time they got pulled over for speeding they would get a free pass, we would see more speeding. Yikes! Imagine a three-strikes law for murder — everybody gets to get rid of at least one person during their lifetime. Investors in the copyight hodling companies who have pressed for these laws should hold management accountable for stupidity.

Anonymous Coward says:

you guys are waaay off about the three strikes and saying it is what’s boosting it.
First reason is, now the government is talking about it, so people get more interested in it, and now methods of piracy better knows and easier to find…

But the biggest problem is, they flash solely based on the IP address, which can be faked, and we’ll probably get some 85 years old grandma getting one, then two warnings about piracy…

And it gets better: if it turns out you did not download anything, then someone must have used your connection, and you can pay over 1000 euros fine because it’s your fault you did not secure your connection….

Added to the fact that, if they do follow with their theoretical 10 000 warnings per day, judges who will pronounce the decision of whether to cut, or give a fine, or check if the person is really not guilty, have 5 minutes to deliberate…

As for the reasons of piracy, those mentioned were good, just add the teenager with little pocket money who still wishes to listen to his favorite artists and watch his favorite movies… he buys what he can, and when he cannot, he watches online for free..

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