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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:03pm

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

    More like it helps the MPAA and RIAA and friends to control culture.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:41pm

    Is this law likely to be taken down by the Constitutional Council?

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

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Rock 'em and Sock 'em with Ockham's Razor, 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Far, far, better productive people than PIRATES.

    More like it helps the MPAA and RIAA and friends to control culture.

    YOU are simply worthless thieves. THEY give everyone very expensive entertainments for token amounts.

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

  4. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:51pm

    Blue Balls: “Fuck corporations. All my homies hate corporations.”

    Also Blue Balls: “I love the MPAA and RIAA, they’re awesome. Bless those massive corporations for all they do. I can’t kiss their asses enough.”

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

  5. identicon
    Pixelation, 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:56pm

    Arcom's razor

    I guess they're just idiots.

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

  6. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:56pm

    Beatings will continue until morale improves

    If they want people to respect copyright maybe give them something to respect, a system that actually protects creativity rather than squashes anything that might be infringing and hands out utterly insane fines for everyday activities.

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

    With so much creativity and cultural growth in spite of copyright rather than because of it the idea that you need even more copyright to 'protect' creativity shows either a stunning ignorance of reality or a dishonest person. If they really wanted to protect creativity there are a number of ways to go about that, from strengthening fair use(or whatever the local equivalent is) and putting in place penalties for ignoring it to grants for creative works that might need some money to finish.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Far, far, better productive people than PIRATES.

    THEY give everyone very expensive entertainments for token amounts.

    Not everyone, as I am their worse nightmare, I ignore their products and consume self published content.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 3:27pm

    that seeks to regulate many aspects of the online world in France

    You mean the world, don't you? As I recall, it's not good enough to block French citizens from accessing material France has deemed infringing, the material must come down!

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

  9. icon
    AC Unknown (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Far, far, better productive people than PIRATES.

    [Assertions lack evidence]

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

  10. icon
    Norahc (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 5:25pm

    Apparently in French 'Hadopi' means 'too stupid to learn from our previous mistakes so let's do it again'.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 5:28pm

    Ah, yes, Hadopi - the antipiracy plan that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to arrest and charge one guy... who wasn't even the right person. Genius!

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re:

    THEY give everyone very expensive entertainments

    No, movie studios give everyone those entertainments.

    The MPAA and RIAA are nothing but bill collectors who charge studios additional premiums for operating as loan sharks - fucking terrible loan sharks, at that, because they can't even be bothered to nail the right people.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Far, far, better productive people than Blueballs

    It’s nice to know some things never change. You’re still here and still wrong.

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

  14. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Far, far, better productive people than PIRATES.

    Interesting. 2 sentences, one unsupported defamatory lie and one laughable misunderstanding of the corporate business models you so obsessively protect.

    You're as wrong as ever, but you managed to get the whole thing in 2 short sentences rather than pages of rambling nonsense topped with whining about a spam filter working correctly. Almost efficient for you.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2021 @ 1:27am

    As much as I would like to joke about "French creativity" in making stupid laws, making stupid laws and then doubling down on the stupid when they fail is pretty universal to politicians everywhere.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2021 @ 3:44am

    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,

    Why not? It's working really well for the EU and the 'Leistungsschutzrecht'.

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

  17. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2021 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Far, far, better productive people than Blueballs

    "You’re still here and still wrong."

    And despite 10 years of fermenting in the utter failure of all the anti-piracy programs around, Baghdad Bob still can't get over his instinctive urge to stand in defense of the 30 years worth of wasted effort copyright enforcement represents.

    Baghdad Bob's been screaming that any day now all we "evil pirates" would be dragged through the streets in chains. For ten years. You'd think at some point he'd realize that all his efforts will be going the same way as those of Nick Valenti about the VCR and the RIAA around the cassette tape.

    Because when tech conflicts with business model, tech wins. Always.

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

  18. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2021 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    "...making stupid laws and then doubling down on the stupid when they fail is pretty universal to politicians everywhere."

    Yeah, but France has tradition of adding extra levels of fail other politicians elsewhere just can't match.

    With the possible exception of Australia, recently. I guess this is just part of France's attempt to reclaim their leadership in monumental legislative fuckups.

    To be fair, it's a good one.

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

  19. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Apr 2021 @ 8:46am

    when tech conflicts with business model, tech wins

    Or, as I’ve put it before: If a business model can be destroyed by the Internet, it deserves to be destroyed.

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

  20. 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.

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

  21. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Apr 2021 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    Not just the internet;

    The automotive industry did horrible things to the stagecoach industry. The industrial revolution put ordinary blacksmiths and weavers out of work én másse. The printing press had monasteries scrambling for another source of revenue than copying scribes.

    And all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't save those industries - no matter how heavy-handed the king's men got.

    Baghdad Bob has spent the last ten years pissing straight up and screaming. That's his choice, i guess, but he has no call to complain when factual reality then fills his open mouth with what comes down after having gone up.

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


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