French Hadopi Scheme Gutted; Other Bad Ideas To Be Introduced Instead

from the three-strikes-is-out dept

France's Hadopi graduated response approach, also known as "three strikes", occupies a special place in the annals of copyright enforcement. It pioneered the idea of punishing users accused of sharing unauthorized copies of files, largely thanks to pressure from the previous French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who seems to have hated most aspects of this new-fangled Internet thing. Sadly, other countries took up the idea, including the UK with its awful Digital Economy Act, New Zealand, Spain and, more recently, the US.

Hadopi hasn't been going too well. Despite putting out some dodgy statistics, the Hadopi agency hasn't really been able to show that the three-strike approach is doing anything to reduce the number of unauthorized downloads. In the two years that Hadopi has been running, only one person has been brought to court -- and he was innocent, but fined anyway.

As we reported, with Sarkozy gone, the new French President and his team are looking for ways to cut the cost of this scheme. Numerama has details of a recent presentation from the French Minister of Culture and her advisor, Pierre Lescure, about the future of Hadopi (original in French) that confirms the "three strikes" approach is likely to be dropped:

[Lescure] strongly suggests that the graduated response will be abandoned, because it is considered illegitimate and ineffective. "It is likely that a significant proportion of Internet users who have stopped P2P downloads have turned to other types of unmonitoried methods (streaming, direct download) rather than legal offerings, whether free or paid," writes Mission Lescure. Sending out e-mails may be not stopped, but it seems certain that the criminal sanctions will be shelved.
That's probably as close as the French government will ever come to admitting that Hadopi is a failure. Unfortunately, it seems that it will be bringing in three other bad ideas instead:
To put pressure on intermediaries. It is necessary "to make hosts more accountable by forcing them to remove promptly illegal content and to prevent their reappearance, and by strengthening international cooperation in order to punish sites that refuse to comply";

De-list illegal offerings. It is necessary "to reduce the visibility of illegal offerings by acting on the listing in search engines, if necessary through legislation";

"Turn off revenue sources for infringing sites (the "Follow the money" approach), by making intermediaries (advertisers, online payment services) liable."
We've seen all these idea elsewhere -- the first time in ACTA, the second in efforts to make Google skew its search results, and the last in SOPA. They're all terrible in their own ways, but it's good to see France apparently realizing that punishing the public is even worse.

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Filed Under: copyright, france, hadopi, intermediary liability, search engines, three strikes

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    out_of_the_blue, 10 Dec 2012 @ 10:09am

    1st, let's be clear that Glyn Moody is for piracy.

    That's why he deems the other ways "bad ideas" TOO. There's no way to enforce copyright that will please Moody; he doesn't even bother to hide that fact.

    "Loin de lutter contre le piratage, la mission Lescure risque donc d'encourager la naissance de nouvelles formes de piratage." -- New forms of pirating will pop up is the assertion, but so what? New forms of social control will be implemented, and I WISH you pirates would quit providing the excuse!

    People will always try to get tempting content for free, but that's the same reason there are locks on doors: to prevent easy access to those lacking their own moral controls. Copyright is a non-physical lock on non-physical property, and it's due to the ease of machines copying what's difficult for humans to create. Copyright is exactly to prevent mechanical copying. But it's clear who OWNS the non-physical by reason of paid for and created it: if you want a piece of it, pay for the privilege.

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