Hadopi Wants To Kick People Offline For Watching Unauthorized Streams As Well

from the mission-creep dept

Well, well. A top guy at the French “kick you off the internet” Hadopi agency is apparently claiming that the organization’s mandate goes beyond just people accused (not convicted) of file sharing, and could be used against people watching unauthorized streaming content as well. There’s no indication given as to how Hadopi or anyone else would actually be able to find out who was watching streamed content, short of seizing log files. But, won’t it be great when you can lose your internet connection, because your friends pointed you to a video on YouTube that wasn’t properly licensed?

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Comments on “Hadopi Wants To Kick People Offline For Watching Unauthorized Streams As Well”

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Kurata says:

I’ll b e honest : it wont happen.
Monitoring streaming content would mean to watch the HTTP traffic. Watching the HTTP traffic means violating people’s privacy, which is not allowed in France.
What is more, spying on the ground of sole suspicion, let alone just for illegal downloading while not giving out your IP is not allowed either.
Indeed the main difference as we know, between HTTP and P2P, is that you don’t tell your IP publicly, and seizing logs wont work out either, due to French rights specificities.

Johnny says:


As long as Sarkozy is in bed (literally) with a representative of the copyright mafiaa, they’ll find a way.

French privacy doesn’t rule it out, because like any other European Union country, French ISPs have to keep logs of everyone’s internet activity for at least 6 months. The data is there, they just need to search it for offending streams.

Ain’t it great to think that this data-retention law was passed to “fight child porn and terrorism”, but can now be used to find “criminals” who watch a video stream they didn’t even know were “illegal”.

Besides where’s the report that shows how effective data-retention has been to fight child porn and terrorism? I suspect they’ve never even caught one like that.

RikuoAmero (profile) says:

This reminds me of the Youtube v Viacom, where Viacom was shown to be suing over content it had itself uploaded to Youtube, that looked like it had been uploaded by someone without permission. So now the viewer not only has to wonder is the content on there with permission, now they have to worry about the French government stepping in and saying “That’s an illegal stream, we’re gonna boot you off your interwebz!”

Also, what about streaming content from your hard drive online? I don’t do it myself, but I have heard of some hard drives that allow you to stream video files from the hard drive while its connected to the internet, and watch it say via a media centre program on your Xbox 360. So is the French government literally going to watch what my Media Centre does?

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Political posturing

This is all quite a bit of political posturing. Watching improperly licensed content via streaming is NOT illegal, it simply doesn’t violate any current laws. HADOPI can go after whoever is doing the uploading of the content, but going after the viewers is a nightmare task that is sure to violate any privacy laws that France has in place.

Gatekeepers HATE the web and they are doing everything they can to gain some sort of legal control over it that swings the pendulum. What they don’t seem to understand is they are fighting against the wave of human nature and technology. Good luck with that.

Guillaume Champeau (profile) says:

Not happening

From sources very close to the matter, I can tell that it’s not happening anytime soon. The HADOPI is well aware that it can’t monitor streaming activities, and it won’t. Technically they can’t collect IP adresses on streaming and direct download websites. But also legally speaking, watching a movie online is not counterfeiting per se. Counterfeiting is defined in French law as reproducing, making available or performing works in public without authorization. The act of simply accessing a copyrighted work is not punished. You can be prevented from copying a book, no reading it.

What is noticeable is that they try to make people believe the contrary. In their second warning, sent by paper mail, they say that “we remind you that volontary conducts of consulting (…) works protected by copyright, commonly called ‘piracy’, are offenses of counterfeiting punished by courts”.

When I asked them why they such thing whereas it is false, they answered that the warnings “were written primarily in order to be understandable by those who receive”. They never denied that they say something the law does not mandate, and they even said that people can read the law if they want an accurate view of it. That is to check they are lying.

Here is a story (in French) I wrote about this:

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