France Continues Mass Processing Of Infringement Accusations: 60 People Get Third Strike Notice... 650,000 Get First Strike

from the crimininalizing-an-entire-country dept

The latest stats coming out of France's HADOPI "three strikes" (really three accusations) policy are really quite stunning. Most of the focus is on the fact that 60 ISP account holders have received their third strike, and now await to see if they'll be fined and/or kicked off the internet without ever having actually been convicted of copyright infringement. But, to me, the much more interesting numbers are the first and second strike numbers. An astounding 650,000 people have received "first strike" notices, with 44,000 of those receiving a second strike as well. Those are huge numbers. It makes you wonder, at what point do those in power begin to recognize that if so many people are engaging in this, there must be some sort of better solution.

The entertainment industry loves to call infringement "theft," but I don't think anyone would argue that 650,000 people are running around France stealing things out of stores. And that's because people inherently recognize that there's a massive difference between stealing a physical product, such that there's one less of it, and listening to a song that they like, where nothing is removed for anyone else. When a huge percentage of your population is accused of breaking the law, the problem is not with the people... but with the law.

Filed Under: france, hadopi, statistics

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  1. icon
    JMT (profile), 5 Oct 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "But if you create a system where the crime is easy to commit, and the costs to prove it too high, you have essentially wiped the crime off the books."

    You're right! More accurately, the "crime" is something that a large (and increasing) number of people do not believe is inherently wrong. Technology has allowed us to circumvent the old gatekeepers and go back to doing what we've always done, the sharing of culture. By far the biggest deterrent to committing a crime is peoples' own moral assessment of the act. It's pretty clear from the ever-increasing rate of copyright infringement that it wasn't so much that moral assessment that prevented "piracy", it was the state of technology.

    "This system replies to crime at the same speed it occurs."

    And it's amazing that you can't see anything wrong with that. Being considered innocent until proven guilty and having a chance to defend yourself in court are long-established standards in most of the world's legal systems, and yet they're being put aside at the behest of an industry that dramatically overrates their position in society.

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