France Plans To Repeat Hadopi's Costly Mistakes By Turning It Into An Even Bigger, Even More Wrong-headed Anti-Piracy Body Called Arcom

from the will-they-ever-learn? dept

Techdirt covered the story of France's "three strikes" law, later known as Hadopi, from the body overseeing it, for over ten years. What became a long-running farce eventually cost French taxpayers €82 million, and generated just €87,000 in fines. A rational government might draw the obvious conclusion that trying to stamp out unauthorized downloads using the crude instrument of fines and threats was the wrong approach. Oddly, though, the French government has decided that Hadopi was such a stunning, and embarrassing failure, it wants to do it again, but on an even grander scale, as a story on Euractiv reports:

A new super-regulator, the Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique (ARCOM) is to be created from the merger of the Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des œuvres et la protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI) and the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) in order to "step up the fight against pirate sites and to include this action in a broader policy of regulating online content", according to the Ministry of Culture website.

The merger is part of a wide-ranging new law (original in French) that seeks to regulate many aspects of the online world in France, mostly in wrong-headed ways. Next Inpact has an excellent run-down on what is included in the proposed text (original in French). The main elements include tackling unauthorized downloads; propaganda aimed at convincing young people to love copyright; encouraging new services offering material (about the only sensible idea in the bill); and a mission to monitor the use of "technical protection measures" like DRM. In addition, the new law aims to combat sites with infringing material by using blacklists, to tackle mirror sites, and shut down unauthorized services offering sports content.

Given the French lawmakers' willingness to grant lazy copyright companies whatever new legal options they want, however unbalanced or disproportionate in terms of basic rights and freedoms, there seems little chance the bill will be thrown out or even substantially modified. France's Ministry of Culture is certainly fully behind it. In a press release, it went so far as to claim (original in French):

This ambitious bill is fundamental for the defense of French creativity.

It really isn't. Moreover, they said the similar things about Hadopi, and look what happened there.

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Filed Under: arcom, copyright, france, hadopi, piracy, three strikes


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  1. icon
    ancilevien74 (profile), 20 Apr 2021 @ 8:35am

    2 things to add

    Only looking at how much money was made from fines is not enough, looking at the money made by people going to legal services should also be considered (and also looking at people going to illegal streaming and/or buying a VPN access).

    The CSA (Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel) is the entity trying to police television. They know they are condamned to disappear with TV so they see the opportunity to gain power and stay alive by merging with the Hadopi in ARCOM. It's all very politic and will only punish technical illiterates.


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