French Culture Minister Unilaterally Tries To Change Hadopi Rules To Close Loophole

from the that's-how-democracy-works? dept

We recently wrote about how the French ISP Free was using a loophole in the Hadopi "three strikes" rules to protect its subscribers. Basically, the law says that ISPs should pass along the notices, but does not have any penalties if the ISP does not pass the notices along to users. So Free simply chose not to pass along the notices, even if it did send user info to the agency. But the problem is that the law says that users can't be cut off unless they've been notified, so without the notification, there can be no kicking people off the internet, which was the entire point of Hadopi.

In response, it appears that French culture minister Frederic Mitterand decided to unilaterally decided to issue a "decree" clarifying Hadopi and extending the fines for not handing over info to not passing along the notices. Of course, that raises all sorts of questions about the French lawmaking process, and Free is insisting that such a decree, issued quickly with no review or vote is simply not legal. Also, it's been pointed out that EU law requires that members notify the EU regulatory bodies of any new laws that would punish ISPs if they don't comply -- and clearly this didn't happen in this case.

As Zeropaid points out in the link above, it is pretty clear that Free is playing a semantic game, and it's likely that the law will be changed eventually to close that loophole, but that certainly doesn't mean it's okay for the French culture minister to unilaterally change a law without any review or oversight, just because the original law makers left a loophole in.

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  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 14 Oct 2010 @ 7:39am

    This is Frees lead up to going to the EU courts and asking for clarification on if HADOPI is in fact legal under EU laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 7:48am

    Obviously the actual French government don't think much about the law, maybe is because they are used to bribes and not following rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 7:53am

    kinda thought France was past the "decrees"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 14 Oct 2010 @ 7:59am

    Wut?

    "In response, it appears that French culture minister Frederic Mitterand decided to unilaterally decided to issue a "decree" clarifying Hadopi and extending the fines for not handing over into to not passing along the notices."

    This sentence made me cry....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 7:59am

    "not handing over into" ---> "not handing over info"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 8:06am

    I still think its sad they even have a minister of "culture", culture to me is defined and used by the people, not the govt

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      WhoeverIMayBe, 14 Oct 2010 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      It's just the common Orwellian government naming scheme - Minister of Culture, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Love, et cetera...

      You name the position or the agency after the thing you are undermining or circumventing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Beta (profile), 14 Oct 2010 @ 8:28am

    laws are made of words

    ...it is pretty clear that Free is playing a semantic game...

    It's called law. The french legislature passed a law that was poorly thought out and badly written (irrespective of whether it was just or wise). Free chose to obey the letter of the law but not its spirit, which is their right; Mitterand is trying to assert power in a way that went out of style in 1789.

    At least this dispels the old stereotype of French politicians: they are not all spineless. Foolish, clumsy, incompetent, arrogant and autocratic maybe, but not spineless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hulser (profile), 14 Oct 2010 @ 10:04am

      Re: laws are made of words

      It's called law. The french legislature passed a law that was poorly thought out and badly written (irrespective of whether it was just or wise).

      Exactly. Isn't including a punishment for something that you're prohibiting Lawmaking 101? The makers of this law are not just sort-sighted, but also incompetant.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 9:46am

    Government entities seem to be having an increasingly hard time with legality. First there was the whole "warrantless" craze in the US, then we had the ACTA debacle, and now the French government is issuing fiats.
    Are modern governments so corrupt that they can't adhere to the laws they themselves write?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2010 @ 9:58am

    @12

    answer YES....so lets none of us vote
    and i mean then we cna see whom is corupt and go burn there houses and restart a revolution to take back democracy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David Liu, 14 Oct 2010 @ 12:51pm

    I still don't get why the agency can't just send a notice to the user directly. They've already got the information. Now they're just being lazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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