French National Assembly Votes (Sorta) To Finally Kill Its Three Strikes Hadopi Program
from the interesting-move dept
Remember Hadopi? Back when the legacy copyright players were totally focused on kicking individuals off the internet via a “three strikes” program, France and its former President Nicolas Sarkozy, married to a musician, was the first to embrace the idea of kicking casual file sharers off the internet (we’ll leave aside the fact that Sarkozy was a mass infringer himslef). The program that was built up around the plan was eventually called Hadopi, and created a big bureaucracy to send out threat notices. The program turned out to be a complete disaster. It issued many notices, but really had to massage the numbers to make its activities look reasonable. Even when people did lose their internet access, there were problems. A detailed academic study of Hadopi found that it was a miserable failure that actually resulted in an increase in infringement.
When a new administration came into office, they made it clear that they were not impressed by Hadopi, and intended to cut its funding. And while there were efforts to kill it entirely, the government basically just gutted the system and let it live on as a shell of what it once was.
However, it looks like there’s been a renewed effort to kill Hadopi completely, and it actually passed a vote in the National Assembly — but with some caveats.
In a nearly empty chamber, the French National Assembly voted to end the Hadopi institution and law in 2022, Next Inpact reports. What?s noteworthy is that only 7 of the 577 Members of Parliament were present at the vote, and the amendment passed with four in favor and three against.
The decision goes against the will of the sitting Government, which failed to have enough members present at the vote. While it?s being seen as quite an embarrassment, the amendment still has to pass the senate, which seems unlikely without Government support.
In other words, Hadopi will likely still live on to see another day, despite its already diminished state. However, the folks who put together this bit of a publicity stunt say that they’re calling attention to the fact that the government has called in the past for the end of Hadopi, and they’re just trying to get the government to commit to something:
?Related Greens? MP Isabelle Attard says that it?s time to end the ?schizophrenic? behavior of the Government on the matter. ?A choice has to be made at some point. We can?t call out Hadopi as useless and, years later, still let it linger on,? she says.
While it?s doubtful that the amendment means the definite end of Hadopi, it certainly puts it back on the political agenda. Whether this will lead to actual change will become apparent in the future.
For all intents and purposes, Hadopi is a shell of what it once was. It’s also a standing monument to the stupidity of three strikes/graduated response plans. The government should kill it off, but while it lives on, it’s a demonstration of how demands by legacy copyright industries to push for ways to protect legacy business models can create truly wasteful government spending that serves no legitimate purpose.