France passes three strike anti-piracy bill

By on May 13, 2009, 10:32 AM
France’s controversial three strikes anti-piracy law that will disconnect repeat Internet copyright infringers has been approved by the country’s National Assembly, which is dominated by President Sarkozy's right-wing party, after a surprise defeat last month. Under the bill, a state agency known by the acronym HADOPI will be set up to track and punish those accused of downloading copyright infringing material, serving as an intermediary between content providers and Internet service providers.

A three-strikes system would be in place for offenders, who first would receive an email warning, then a letter and finally lose their Internet access for up to a year if they are caught a third time. The bill obviously enjoys extensive support from the music and film industries in France and abroad, but still has a couple of hurdles to clear. It must go to the Senate next week for approval, where it is expected to pass easily, and needs a final stamp after negotiations with the European Council, which is made up of the various EU member countries.

The latter might be a tad more complicated, seeing as the bill defies a European Parliament measure passed last week that prohibits EU governments from cutting off a user's Internet connection without a court order.




User Comments: 24

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polidiotic said:
This is what's coming to America, with Obama at the helm. This is what happens when capitalism dwindles away and the free market system gets overtaken by an oppressive, overbearing socialist government.The new 1984 is 2009.
phantasm66 said:
I am kind of left wondering how practical it will be to enforce this.Think of the volume of traffic we are talking about - and the technicalities of gathering evidence, etc. This is quite a problem indeed.Perhaps they might consider actually placing bogus torrent files, and waiting to see who downloads them. But that's actually entrapment - would it stand up in a court of law?I think ALOT of people are going to be challenging this if it happens to them. That in itself will turn messy.I really doubt that this will work in the long term, and it certainly won't stop people downloading stuff. If the RIAA and that lot manage to get the ISPs onboard, people will just move to some sort of encrypted P2P system, where no one can tell what's being downloaded.Bottom line? I think the RIAA et al should actually get on board with file sharing. They should find a way to make it legal, practical, and cheap. They should embrace it. Once something is invented, the cat is out of the bag. You can't uninvent it. You can liken the internet and P2P as a bit like the invention of the printing press - no longer did things have to be copied by hand, and information sharing mushroomed. You know, people opposed the printing press as well. But that didn't stop it.[url]http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/01/13/resista
ce-of-the-printing-press/[/url]The supplantation of hand copied manuscripts with printed works was not received with unanimous encomium. Not only did the papal court contemplate making printing presses an industry requiring a licence from the Catholic Church (an idea rejected in the end), but as early as in the 15th century some nobles refused to have printed books in their libraries to sully their valuable handcopied manuscripts. Similar resistance was later encountered in much of the Islamic world, where calligraphic traditions were extremely important, and also in the Far East.
Matthew said:
[b]Originally posted by polidiotic:[/b][quote]The new 1984 is 2009.[/quote]Heh, I'm with you on that.
phantasm66 said:
Oh we are seriously looking at an erosion of rights in the west in the name of fighting terrorism, protecting the peace, upholding copyright, stopping recession, etc.
TomSEA said:
I think that's putting it a little extreme phantasm66. Under this law, you don't want your Internet connection shut off? Then don't illegally download copyrighted items. And it's not like you're going to be blindsided - you'll be warned about it twice before that happens.I hardly find that as a "serious erosion of rights."
eafshar said:
all this is gonna do bring people to a new era of open source programing at least in the computer world. for example.. lets say 20% of people who have word 07 have downloaded it illegally. lets say half of these guys did it because they couldn't afford to dish out 200+$ for it. so they would have downloaded open office instead. its quite a large number of new users. i see this as good thing rather than bad.does Microsoft believe that their version of office provide enough benefit over open office to justify 200$ cost? well i don't think so. in my opinion this is gonna encourage more open source programing development and ultimately loss of revenue to companies. and for downloaded TV shows.. I'd visit hulu and watch them there.. there is work around over pretty much anything that's illegally downloaded. its just a matter of convenience and quality.
Darth Shiv said:
[b]Originally posted by polidiotic:[/b][quote]This is what's coming to America, with Obama at the helm. This is what happens when capitalism dwindles away and the free market system gets overtaken by an oppressive, overbearing socialist government.[/quote]Maybe if the capitalists didn't try to screw everyone when they had it good then the socialists wouldn't have any public support?
phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b][quote]I think that's putting it a little extreme phantasm66. Under this law, you don't want your Internet connection shut off? Then don't illegally download copyrighted items. And it's not like you're going to be blindsided - you'll be warned about it twice before that happens.I hardly find that as a "serious erosion of rights."[/quote]It is an erosion of rights. Its spying on what I am doing on the internet. Where does it begin and where does it end? Do we start to censor inappropriate material? Have someone decide what we can and can't look at? I don't mean child pornography or anything... I mean something that people just don't want us to know, or see. Who decides that? What begins as an exercise in internet surveillence in the name of copyright protection, opens a door we then can't shut. The principals of free information sharing, on which the internet was founded, start to go away. Will the internet just turn into a kind of interactive television, where someone somewhere decides what we can and can't see? I think its disgusting that some organisation like the RIAA, along with ISPs, get together and monitor what I am doing on the net... why? In case I download some Amy Winehouse track I didn't pay for? No one has that right.
phantasm66 said:
Oh, and my point referred not just to P2P, etc, but to lots of things that are happening in the world right now what threaten freedoms we presently take for granted.
TBolt said:
@phantasm66I most definately see your point and to a certain level I agree...this is the type of thing that has the potential of opening a door that could result in some of our fundamental rights and freedoms to be "quietly" stripped away. However, one must appreciate and sympathize with what the attempt at this is...to stop or at least get control of rampant piracy which by the way effects everyone in a negative way. Bottom line, although you should have the right to privacy, free from spying eyes, you do not have the right to steal...that is piracy and what this law is trying to get a handle on. Saying no one has the right to keep on eye on what and how copywrited data is exchanged in a public forum is like saying police officers don't have the right to watch a suspicious person in a store and stop them from shoplifting. However, even that analogy can be picked apart and shot full of holes related to things like profiling. Which brings us back to the better truth...why create a law that in effect "punishes" users of the internet that aren't illegally exchanging data? The solution is not this shotgun approach but (IMHO) a fundamental change in the marketing strategy and model. Why do people pirate? Convenience? A curiosity by way of 'try before you buy'? Lack of money to purchase overpriced software? As many reasons as there are for why people pirate, I bet there would be countering and acceptable solutions software providers could implement to satisfy all parties, still turn a profit and reduce the rampant piracy...without creating a big brother to watch over you.Erosion of our rights? Very much possible. But someone has to do something...just wish they'd address the problem directly rather than putting a thorny blanket on top of everyone.
phantasm66 said:
You raise some interesting and valid points. In an ideal world, the RIAA, etc would actually get involved in P2P file sharing. They would use the P2P infrastructure as a means of distribution. An extra charge could be put on broadband as a means of compensation. Some types of media could have some sort of time expiry built in, whereby they cease to play after a while. Yes, I know this could be hacked, but its a possible solution.Please can all of you, though, beware of believing all of this stuff about "starving artists" and "entertainment industry in jeopardy." Its bollocks. This is about certain parties loosing the right to control the distribution of media. Remember the printing press example I made? That in the beginning, the catholic church wanted to control printing presses, because they wanted to control the flow of information. They wanted to govern what people could and could not read. There is a similar thing happening here... certain parties have, for a long time, controlled our access to what we read, watch and listen to, and they want to keep that at all costs. That's what its really all about.
polidiotic said:
[b]Originally posted by Darth Shiv:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by polidiotic:[/b][quote]This is what's coming to America, with Obama at the helm. This is what happens when capitalism dwindles away and the free market system gets overtaken by an oppressive, overbearing socialist government.[/quote]Maybe if the capitalists didn't try to screw everyone when they had it good then the socialists wouldn't have any public support?[/quote]The US has always been based on a capitalist system... which accounts for many of our accomplishments from the private sector. The freedom to create and to compete in a free market pushes innovation/better ideas, and a great economy. How did being capitalist "screw everyone?" I fail to see the validity of your argument.
Eddie_42 said:
[b]Originally posted by phantasm66:[/b][quote] Remember the printing press example I made? That in the beginning, the catholic church wanted to control printing presses, because they wanted to control the flow of information. They wanted to govern what people could and could not read. There is a similar thing happening here... certain parties have, for a long time, controlled our access to what we read, watch and listen to, and they want to keep that at all costs. That's what its really all about. [/quote]They arent after you explicitly. They are not monitoring your every move, every sight you load, blog you post.They are watching known sites that have pirated material (such as torrents). When someone pulls a file from the site, they track it down and issue the punishment. This is no different then speeding in your car. The police are not following you around all day everyday waiting for you to speed. But when they are sitting on the side of the road and you fly by at 15 over, they will track you down, and issue the punishment.They are not stripping away rights, they are enforcing the law. Silly how that works.
fastvince said:
You can always go to a pubic free site and download anything you want.This is ridiculous. !
polidiotic said:
It's important to note that people (generally) in Europe don't have the constitutional rights that we in America do. They don't have a constitution in the United Kingdom to protect their freedoms and/or rights. Similarly, they don't have a constitution (for the basic rights/freedoms of people) in France. In fact, France's constitution is more about what the Government CAN do and how it must work - and it's quite extensive at that. For those of you brave or bored enough to read it... [url]http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/8ab.asp.[/url
This is what you get in a Socialist state. Government is always first, where the citizen's rights/needs are second. For if the government didn't have the power and money it needed to function, how on earth could it provide for, dictate and protect the underlings beneath it? Not that France does a lot of protecting... You will notice that the taxes in Europe far outweigh what Americans are paying (for now). Of course, the more the Government has control over (and believe me, France's government has a lot of control and is quite extensive already - and America is following in their footsteps), the more you'll see the taxes rise and the more you'll see the power "of the people" dwindle away.Privacy is a concern, but it's not protected in France. We take our rights for granted in America, and we no longer fight for them. It's actually pretty sad, really. And yes, this started with FDR and beyond. Bush 2, with his PATRIOT act infringed on our rights to privacy, as well. Obama isn't alone in his socialist idealism and expansion of government, he's just making the most obvious and biggest jump.So, when you say they're "not monitoring your every move, every sight you load, blog you post," you're actually putting yourself into a little bubble that's ignoring the small fact that the ISPs are working with the government to track you. The government wouldn't know you had visited a site or downloaded a file, unless the ISP was tracking you, specifically and reported you to the authorities. It's one thing for an ISP to scold you and cut your service, but once the government gets involved... forget it.As for the MPAA and RIAA... they already plant movies/music online to bait piracy. There was an article in 2004-2005 about it, but I can't remember where I saw it. I'll look around for it later. I've also spoken with COX Communication employees about their monitoring activities and their alliance with these organizations. They actually have an agreement with the MPAA and RIAA, where they pretty much scan the files on your system that you download, and if it matches a name of a copyrighted/trademarked movie/television series, music entity, you will receive a warning to remove it or face consequences. They work on a "3-strikes and you're out" policy.In my opinion, anything on the internet that's available for download is pretty much free game. If you're not paying for it and you're not selling it, it doesn't help/hurt anyone. If you have the money, you'll most likely purchase what's available online, anyway. Just look at the record-breaking numbers in Hollywood and the music industry. "Piracy" isn't hurting their industries at all. They're just playing a "what-if" game, but the truth is that most "pirates" will not purchase their material anyway, because they never had the intention to in the first place, or they don't have the money to.This has become long-winded, eh? Sorry about that. ;P
phantasm66 said:
[quote]They arent after you explicitly. They are not monitoring your every move, every sight you load, blog you post.They are watching known sites that have pirated material (such as torrents). When someone pulls a file from the site, they track it down and issue the punishment. This is no different then speeding in your car. The police are not following you around all day everyday waiting for you to speed. But when they are sitting on the side of the road and you fly by at 15 over, they will track you down, and issue the punishment.They are not stripping away rights, they are enforcing the law. Silly how that works.[/quote][url]http://chronicle.com/free/2008/05/2821n.h
m[/url][quote]The LimeWire software allows users who right-click on any song entry and choose "browse host" to see all of the songs that a given file sharer is offering to others for download. The software also lists the IP address of active file sharers. (An IP address is a unique number, assigned by Internet-service providers, that identifies every connection to the Internet.) While the names of the people associated with particular IP addresses are not public, it is easy to find out which IP addresses are registered to each Internet-service provider. Using public, online databases (such as those at arin.net or samspade.org), Media Sentry locates the name of the Internet-service provider and determines which traders are located at colleges or universities.[/quote][url]http://www.pcworld.com/article/142
09/fight_erupts_over_riaa_efforts_to_nab_music_pirates.htm
[/url][quote]A motion filed by Amurao's attorney, Richard Altman, on Jan. 28 asked the court to exclude evidence and testimony against Amurao that was gathered by Belcamp, Md.-based Media Sentry Inc. In his motion, Altman said that Media Sentry had illegally collected information about his client because it did not have a private investigator's license, as required by state law.[/quote]You are correct in that they do monitor file sharing networks rather than snoop directly as such, however they have admitted that they then snoop on other stuff you are sharing. This other material may or may not be copyrighted material. This constitutes spying IMHO. Basically, its a case of "lets see what else they are up to."Following your police analogy, this is like catching you speeding but instead of arresting you for that, following you home, entering your house and searching the place to see if there's anything else they can charge you with.[Edited by phantasm66 on 2009-05-14 11:22:35]
scud1337 said:
I'll just leave this here, it's from german criminal code:to cause nuclear explosions - 5 years imprisonmentsexual assault, rape - 5 years imprisonmentdistribution of pirated copies - 5 years imprisonment
polidiotic said:
Interesting articles (I thought that what I read was from a while ago, but I guess it could have been around a year ago ;P):[url]http://www.p2pnet.net/story/17189[/url][url]http://
orrentfreak.com/study-reveals-reckless-anti-piracy-antics-
80605/[/url][url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10204047
93.html[/url]
phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by scud1337:[/b][quote]I'll just leave this here, it's from german criminal code:to cause nuclear explosions - 5 years imprisonmentsexual assault, rape - 5 years imprisonmentdistribution of pirated copies - 5 years imprisonment[/quote]A valid point. The kinds of punishments being talked about for distribution of pirated material are draconian in the extreme.There's been talk of massive fines and prison time. But you wouldn't impose similar punishment for someone who steals a DVD from a shop, would you?The way these RIAA and MPAA initially targetted university students was also obscene. Basically, its targetting people you know to be weak. People who can't afford fancy lawyers. People who can't take the prospect of heavy fines, or starting out their lives with a prison sentence behind them - so they plead guilty. Its bullying. Its wrong.Now, I will admit that the current system of P2P file sharing isn't exactly perfect either. Yes, some revenue should somehow be going to artists, movie companies, etc. But lets talk about a fee for using torrent sites, or paying extra for broadband - not spying on people and criminalising them with punishments that just don't fit the crime.
phantasm66 said:
[url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9751921-7.html[/url][q
ote]Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced a bill last week that appears to take its cues from controversial proposals circulated by the Justice Department chief in recent years, which include stiffer prison sentences for copyright-related crimes and creation of entirely new categories of punishable activities.Notably, under Chabot's bill, called the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007, it would be a crime not only to commit copyright infringement but also to "attempt" to do so. Such an offense would carry the same penalties as actually committing infringement--as would engaging in a "conspiracy" with two or more people to carry it out.The bill would also double the prison sentences currently prescribed for copyright infringement violations, bringing them up to a range of 6 to 20 years.Life behind bars would also be within the realm of possibility. Trafficking in counterfeit goods and services--including, for example, a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it--could carry that hefty prison term "if the offender knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" through his or her conduct, according to the bill. [/quote]
TBolt said:
[b]Originally posted by scud1337:[/b][quote]I'll just leave this here, it's from german criminal code:to cause nuclear explosions - 5 years imprisonmentsexual assault, rape - 5 years imprisonmentdistribution of pirated copies - 5 years imprisonment[/quote]Okay, that actually got a little bit of a narcisistic chuckel out me. It's interesting that causing the potential of mass death and illness carries the same punishment as pirating a Beastie Boys album...wtf?[b]Originally posted by polidiotic:[/b][quote]This has become long-winded, eh? Sorry about that. ;P[/quote]Maybe a little but it's a good discussion...and it's kind of refreshing that we can discuss a relatively touchy subject with little to no nonsense or troll statements.[b]Originally posted by phantasm66:[/b][quote]Notably, under Chabot's bill, called the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007, it would be a crime not only to commit copyright infringement but also to "attempt" to do so. Such an offense would carry the same penalties as actually committing infringement--as would engaging in a "conspiracy" with two or more people to carry it out.[/quote]Wow. Has the potential of being on the same lines as the German laws...punishment fitting the crime? Okay, theft is theft and against the law, but long term prison sentences for kyping music? Again, I fall back to there is likely a better way to address piracy without going overboard and opening doors for privacy infringement. And by the way...this door is already been opened in the US...more than most folks know. You [i]are[/i] being watched.[Edited by TBolt on 2009-05-14 13:21:50]
PanicX said:
"What you cannot enforce, do not command."-SophoclesThis type of legislation is particularly worrisome because of the number of erroneous filings that have already taken place. There's been many people that are completely innocent of any infringement, and yet they're unable to afford proper legal council and strike a deal to keep their costs at a minimum. Now those same individuals would have extremely harsh penalties thrown their way should any unlicensed, incompetent researcher contracted by Copyright holders point a finger at them.This is getting absurd.
avoidz said:
[b]Originally posted by polidiotic:[/b][quote]The new 1984 is 2009.[/quote]It's certainly beginning to feel that way. I fear for the future of our freedoms.
A41202813 said:
Having Piracy Hardware Is Not So Easy As Having Piracy Software.Hardware And Software Are Useless Without One Another.Why Hardware And Software Makers Do Not Make Agreements To Have Some Piece Of The Other's Profits Pie ?
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