French ISP Free Gives In, Will Send 3 Strikes Notices

from the too-bad dept

Well, it looks like the saga of the Hadopi loophole is now over. We had written how the French ISP ‘Free’ had been refusing to pass on Hadopi “three strikes” notices, realizing that the law did not mandate that ISPs pass on the notices, but the law did say that you couldn’t have your connection disabled if the notices hadn’t been sent. Not surprisingly, this upset the French government, which took the extraordinary step of simply decreeing a change to the law to require ISPs send on the notices. This seemed extreme, and potentially illegal.

While Free had initially indicated interest in fighting this, it’s now given in and will send the letters. Apparently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had threatened to “make an example” of ISPs who didn’t send on the notices. Fitting, of course, that a law that avoids due process is changed without any due process.

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Companies: free

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Comments on “French ISP Free Gives In, Will Send 3 Strikes Notices”

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ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Seperation of powers anyone?

“… the Head of State doesn’t have the power to threaten someone for not following a law…”

I don’t know if he ‘has the power’ but he did just that (well, it wasn’t even a law, which makes it even worse,) and they surrendered. Way to live up to your stereotypes…

Nicholas! J’accuse!

Anonymous Coward says:

I would’ve given this article’s title a slightly different focus. Something like, “Fiats Not Enough; French President Starts Issuing Threats”. Possibly “Illegal Fiats Not Enough; French President Starts Issuing Illegal Threats”, if there’s room.
Seriously, somebody needs to take this guy to task. He’s abusing his power to throw a big hissy fit because nobody wants to arbitrarily give money to his wife’s business. He should at least give a public apology for ignoring the law and doing whatever he wants like that. France is supposed to be a republic, not a dictatorship.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cheese eating surrender monkeys?

Well, they need to decide. Are they a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys? In which case it was a waste of time freeing them from the Nazis. Or do they remember the French Revolution?

I’m not saying they need to get the guillotine ready, but they don’t have to put up with this crap either.

Christopher (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Little problem: the two examples of that I can think of, Marie Antoinette and the other guy…… weren’t petty tyrants!

Marie’s statement was actually misconstrued by her people, which she was telling them “Let them eat THIS cake!” which she was referring to a food that she suggested and would have given them the ingredients for.

Androgynous Cowherd says:

If France’s political system allows its President to (credibly) threaten to punish specific actors (individuals or businesses) for (in)actions, then the office of the President in that country is way too damn powerful and the country is actually at risk of undergoing “clonal evolution” into a fascist dictatorship or something else equally ugly.

Put another way: I’d be as worried to live in a country that gave such sweeping powers to the chief executive office and was now about to use them to start censoring the Internet, as to discover that a line of cells in my colon had thrown off the ras/p52 regulatory shackles and was busily working on turning off density-dependent inhibition.
Both would have a probability of killing me in a few years that’d be high enough to warrant some degree of alarm.

Anonymous Coward says:

Xavier Niel does not want the French government to kill the goose with the golden eggs

Wondering how a French inter provider get’s to Alexa Rank 171 worldwide and Alexa Rank 9 in France?

Do your own research:

It’s because the megalomaniac CEO of, who heads a ‘small team with a commando spirit and adrenaline’ has created a private file sharing environment for users while having anyone who writes or speaks about him and his practices arrested.

French politicians and newspapers reacted with shock and consternation yesterday to the brutal pre-dawn arrest of a senior newspaper executive over a relatively trivial libel case. It has not yet been established whether French newspaper executives are legally responsible for readers’ comments left on their websites. The complaint was brought by an internet businessman, Xavier Niel, who has lost two similar cases against Libération.

Anonymous Coward says:

Niel the Porn King

Xavier Niel, the chief executive of Free’s parent company, Iliad, was recently handed a suspended jail sentence for embezzling funds from a sex shop that allegedly was a front for prostitution racket. The 39-year-old was fined $320,000 for embezzling 5000 euros per month in cash from the operation over a three year period.

Niel, the founder of successful service provider Free, has had a sex trade operation (pornographic websites, online sex shops, but also “real life” peep shows), on the side for twenty years, as a source of “easy money”. This is something he has always tried to keep secret (in the media, he would only accept questions about his activities as ISP), but his reputation as a “porn king” has barred him from getting positions in other societies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Internet porn tycoon to acquire Le Monde

Internet porn billionaire Xavier Niel is set to take over leading French daily Le Monde.

The news comes after Le Monde’s journalists’ association, the paper’s main shareholder, voted in favour of the three investors who President Nicolas Sarkozy sought to block.

A multi-billionaire, Niel began his business career at the age of 19 when he launched a sexual contact service on Minitel, France’s dial-up precursor to the internet.

Later he made a foray into peep shows before making a huge fortune from his internet access and telephone companies, Free and Iliad.

Anonymous Coward says:

If the judge won't let you remove critical articles about you from newspapers

you just buy the newspaper:

The journalists of Le Monde, the most prestigious French-language publication in the world, have contemptuously defeated an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy to intervene in the sale of their struggling newspaper.

As a result, Le Monde, once known for its uncompromising austerity, will today fall into the hands of the former romantic and business partner of Yves Saint-Laurent and a radical, self-made billionaire who founded his fortune on internet pornography, chat lines and peep shows.

Le Monde’s journalists, who have controlled the newspaper for almost half a century, voted by over 90 per cent to accept the majority ownership bid of a consortium headed by Pierre Bergé, 81, the retired fashion impresario, and Xavier Niel, 42, one of France’s most successful, and controversial, internet entrepreneurs.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

The Real Meaning of Let Them East Cake, to: Christopher, #14

For the record, “cake” does not mean cake as we understand the term, it means something different. It’s a kind of dough, basically similar to pizza dough, which bakers used to make gaskets for their ovens. They would put a strip between the oven door and the door-sill. By the time the bread was baked, the “cake” must have been more or less like burnt pizza crust. “Cake” was in effect the lowest grade of bread– it bore about the same relationship to bread that dog-food bears to a cheeseburger. The story and the alleged remark were not specific to Marie Antoinette– the story was commonly told much earlier, all over France, about a certain kind of woman, someone more or less like Carla Bruni, in fact.

There are other related recipes using dough seals, incidentally. One I ran across is for a Luxembourg beef stew pot, with the usual ingredients, such as beef, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and the usual spices, but also rather a lot of red wine, which I suppose makes it beef burgundy stew. You put it in a big casserole dish, use a dough gasket between the pot and the lid, then stick it in the oven for several hours. It’s supposed to be a washing-day favorite, because the housewife could put it up, and then forget about it while she got on with her washing. Nowadays, I suppose, you use a crock-pot for that kind of thing, and the thermostat regulates the temperature at just below (water) boiling point.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: The Real Meaning of Let Them East Cake, to: Christopher, #14

If you have credible references for that version, you might update Wikipedia. It says ‘”Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken by a French princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. As brioche is a luxury bread enriched with eggs and butter, it would reflect the princess’s obliviousness to the nature of a famine.’

Also that Antionette did not actually speak those words.

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