French piracy increases 3% despite three-strikes law

By on March 12, 2010, 7:42 PM
It's been half a year since France passed its harsh three-strikes policy against piracy, and despite the threat of massive consequences, online media theft is more rampant than ever. Under the new "Hadopi" law, alleged infringers are given two warnings followed by a punishment that could include being banned from the Internet, a fine of as much as $415,000, and up to two years in prison.

Proponents of Hadopi originally believed such penalties would convince millions to stop downloading copyrighted content, but it hasn't worked out that way. Rather than discourage pirates, the new law is pushing them to find alternatives.

In fact, piracy rates have increased by 3% since the policy was introduced, according to the University of Rennes. While BitTorrent use declined from 17.1% to 14.6%, file-sharers who stopped torrenting moved to streaming services or to private file-hosting sites, which are not covered by Hadopi.

Another interesting note is that half of all P2P users who download copyrighted content also buy digital content online. This suggests that if their Internet connection were revoked under Hadopi, the entertainment industry could lose further revenue, making the new law entirely counterproductive.

User Comments: 38

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thebluemeaner said:

Laws are definetely no way to combat piracy. The music and movie industry should be ready with options that are competetitive. An example to follow is itunes and steam for games.

Clrabbit said:

"This suggests that if their Internet connection were revoked under Hadopi, the entertainment industry could lose further revenue, making the new law entirely counterproductive."

Stupid laws like this is the reason why the problems get out of hand.

Any time you go slapping large un-necessary punishment on crap you get what they call "Rebellious behavior". You put a HUGE SIGN up that tells me DO NOT WALK ON GRASS chances are I'm now going to want to walk on the grass. on the other hand if you would simply have put a nice looking notice that said. "Please do not walk on grass." I would then make sure and be very diligent about not walking on the grass.

Any psychologist worth a **** could tell you the more you threaten the more you make people WANT to do it. another example on new science not to long ago there was an article explaining that Anti-Smoking ads actually increased the amount people smoked. The lesson? If you don't want people to do something put a nice "none-threatening" notice up, and then call it good, you only need to do something when people are completely out of control, and then you only need to do something about that person or group and leave the minor people alone.

Piracy has been around pretty much sense the begging of the net, it's not going anywhere. the only reason so many people are using it, is the fact they keep giving it so bloody much face time, it's getting hard NOT to know were and how.

Live and let live, Stop shouting about it and most people wont even know its there; thereby reducing the amount that happens.

It's like the "WAR on DRUGS" all over again, you know what THE WAR on drugs did for the US? It spiked the amount of drugs used by people. It's just like the saying "Fanning the flames of war will only stoke the fire."

Clrabbit said:

also adding to my above rant. It dose not add to consumer love of all this money being spent on suing and punishing people when you look at numbers.



Budget $237 million

Gross revenue $2,606,954,237 (So far)

Star Trek (2009)

Budget $150 million

Gross revenue $385,494,555

I'm sorry but when you hear about RECORD breaking sales and piracy killing profits in the same week.

seefizzle said:

What's crazy is that the people making these laws are probably too old to even understand what's really going on. They just have movie and record industry spokespeople blowing smoke up their butts. We can't allow people that don't understand the issues make laws about it.

mrtraver said:

This made me smile. Thank you.

pipopaz said:

It's just as seefizzle said, probably the government is pressured by the record industries and the like to do something about it, but the impact on the market is not quite clear.

Riun355 said:

The best way to prevent piracy is to give readily available alternatives. But really, the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. And honestly, it's not like big movies and bands (the stuff you would actually pirate) aren't making enough money. It's like amputating a hand for stealing a bite of bread. it will only serve to bring the criminals sympathy, which seems a bit counterproductive, doesn't it?

techsp10 said:

Actually what makes this one nonsense is that some of the government officials are supporting those media theft so that the officials could earn extra money. Also I guess it's better if the country will make use of the laws and power especially to the president that he will charge those medias who are committing piracy. It also includes a security especially in the internet.

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

Same thing happened during prohibition. Alcohol drinking increased 10 fold due to the fact the government tried to ban it. Its human nature to want to do something "taboo".

Strict laws on something that is impossible to control isn't going to do any good.

Nirkon said:

I think its more because of the culture of the internet,

people think they are completely anonymous

rskapadia2294 said:

laws dont help to reduce piracy! if u wanna stop piracy then stop those who upload pirated material on the net! ( dont stop them pls. )

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i was 'for' & 'against' the hadopi law since the beginning.

PROS: would be a way to make thieves pay for their crime

CONS: even kids are at stake & can be sued over

like clrabbit said, it's better to ask politely & do the proper campaign to prevent piracy instead that imposing with a bull-dog voice not to do so!

with digital download in the rise, i'm sure some day it will be easier to control, but not eradicate piracy. the shutdown of major torrent sites may help

but will be easier if ISP would themselves filter & block the traffic. still may cost a lot.

music factory: provide us with more demos & the possibility to purchase one song from an album at a good price (seen some sites doing so already) & give some bonus to those buying either full digital albums (eco-friendly) & to those buying physical media as collector edition ONLY, let say with autographed cover, some lyrics & biography.

why don't you also add the donation thingy, it works! i've seen more people buying items that promised some form of donation to non-profit org that deals with human aid.

movies & gaming industries are becoming more & more digital, still a great idea, as for music, let's make all physical media a collector's worth item with more than just on-disc bonus, let say a free cinema ticket for next 'same editor' at the theater. the buy a DVD/Blu-ray & get the digital download free doesn't appeal to everyone (i hate this!), unless if it is a free digital download of any other movies by same editor then can be considered OK

the government, instead of 'big'brothering' the people, can instead go for open license policy & maybe (please don't hate me) impose a tax to all internet users for paying the licences & have local free distribution servers for people that don't want to buy expensive movies/music or games & would just download them & based on the statistics pay the authors accordingly. now if you don't want to pay the tax, you should allow often audit of your system & show proof of legal ownership of everything.

having local servers also would help drop international bandwidth usage & make it great for others.

well, a lot can be done, but mostly people must think that downloading illegal stuff, even if can't kill that mega producer or developer, can hurt severely smaller ones, so please don't do unto others, what you don't want others do unto you... for one day you may be the one being 'raped' as an artist or developer!


Guest said:

"I think its more because of the culture of the internet,

people think they are completely anonymous"

Anonymous has nothing to do with it. Look at other "Laws" that have had the same effect over the years, drinking and smoking in minors; When I was a kid 80% of my middle school class drank and smoked Solly because they were sick of being told not to do it. Once they all hit the end of high school they all stopped smoking and a lot even stopped drinking, or at least the ones I still kept in touch with passed 21yo. The simple fact is "It's human nature not to like being told you Can't do something, regardless of if you wanted to do it or not."

A lot of good parenting books will tell you that as well.

Guest said:

"can hurt severely smaller ones, so please don't do unto others, what you don't want others do unto you... for one day you may be the one being 'raped' as an artist or developer!"

Thats very debatable actually.

As much of the smaller artiest are moving towards creative commons, and Open work based on donation, simply cutting out the middle man and packaging cost. So to artiest like these having your stuff spread like wild fire though P2P Means more URLS heading to your info and more fans that may donate, view ad's, and buy collective prints or other work.

Once people Pick "some" of your work on the File sharing side then they just come right to your site for all the new stuff which means more ad revue.

As a supporter for Creative commons, It really pisses me off when file sharing sites and places get in trouble for things the users do. There are MORE legal reasons for them then there are illegal.

ISP are there to provide Internet NOT FILTER it or be held responsible for other people, it's like blaming a library if some kid tosses a book at you or reads a bad word, sure you could sue to have all the books chained to the shelf to keep it form happening but then the Library just spent 90% of it's budget for new books on chains, and locking cases for strong language books. Or you can just shrug kids will be kids and move on with your life.

I'd much rather see ISP be forced to UPDATED there networks for faster service seeing as it sucks around here. Then see them pay the same amount for filtering and tracking crap.

gobbybobby said:

Poor people in France. Its like the government hates them, being drawn in my Corperate crap and here have 50 Million Euros and cut off all the software Pirates.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This law is a bit silly - of course if you ban P2P people will switch to megaupload, rapidshare and other direct download sites, which are pretty much impossible to trace and prosecute against.

nokayapmat said:

pirates will always be pirates regradless of official product prices by copyright holders...

and i agree with one poster all boils down to providing a real alternative to piracy...

i once downloaded, installed, and used something from the net (mirror download) until i read from the official website of the program that the programmers/owners are just starting their business and they would like earn something and not lose to software pirates/illegal downloads...

i uninstalled my illegally acquired software and since then has gone legit...

zyodei said:

Copyright/IP laws are dead. They are a relic of a previous time. They don't protect content, and they create a lot of unintended consequences.

Instead of worrying about other people "stealing" from you, companies should be finding every way to monetize their content. The lion's share of the money will go to who justly deserves it.

Moves like this, unfortunately, are politically expedient for people who don't trust the Internet and don't understand technology.

buendia said:

I hope they got a lesson!

We humans always want want we can't have. It tastes so good Mmmm...

Instead, companies should encourage by other means people to pay for their products, offer some goodies for paying costumers etc. I know they can come up with some good stuff.

bigclick said:

Software has the shelf life of a banana. Would you buy an Adobe CS2 knowing that CS4 was coming. It's overpriced to begin with. I'M surprised there is not more piracy. I've had some great software rendered useless by faster clock speeds or FAT32 VS. NTFS. I don't know many software companies that once you pay for software ... will continue to give free upgrades.

mistashizzle said:

Pirates go so far to defend what they do. Just because huge blockbusters like Avatar and Star Trek make a ton of money doesn't mean that there aren't other movies that fall short. Also, imagine how much money some of these movies could make if everyone that watched them payed for them. Just because they're making money doesn't mean everyone is entitled to go and download it for free. For everyone that argues that they should provide an alternative, they do. Places all over the internet offer royalty free music and most games released nowadays can be downloaded online.

Guest said:

This is a shame!!! I think they ara going to produce VINYL again just to try to protect them against piracy!!!!

ToastOz said:

There are laws for just about everything these days, chances are you have already done something illegal today without even knowing about it. Most common one would be speeding or some sort of illegal traffic violation.

A Lot of piracy laws these days are mostly outrageous you always here about some granny who uploaded 20 songs and has to pay 20 million dollars worth of fines. Nice and simple argument make the punishment fit the crime.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As many people have already said, banning it and putting a outrageous fine on it makes people want to pirate more.

Eddo22 said:

With all the whining about Piracy going on, it honestly makes me want to pirate! Especially since the only people/groups complaining are greedy, filthy rich bastards.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

" honestly makes me want to pirate! Especially since the only people/groups complaining are greedy, filthy rich bastards."

I'm an anti-piracy advocate and frankly, I think the 3-strikes law is extremely fair. It gives you TWO chances with complete immunity to quit stealing. If you haven't got the hint after your two warnings, then you get whatever the powers at be decree.

And the whole, "oh look - they make money so that makes it OK for me to steal" like Eddo22 is the absolute WORST excuse for pirating. So Mercedes makes money selling their cars - how many Mercedes have you stolen lately? People steal because of the ease and complete anonymity of the Internet. Quit trying to put up b.s. excuses for it, like you're some sort of honorable person who is just giving the "bad man" what they deserve. It's pathetic...

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

So Tom.. If someone drives into your neighborhood with their laptop, cracks your wireless router encryption, downloads a few thousand terra bytes of movies, games, etc, you're gonna foot the bill for the fine right? Its YOUR IP address that will be recorded you know. Your ISP will hand YOU and YOUR account to the authorities. This has and does happen. Lets say you fight it and win, you still have to pay the lawyers.

Thompson said:

As the first commenter here said, iTunes and Steam are the BEST ways to combat piracy, i've dabbled with BitTorrent and LimeWIre and let me say, iTunes and Steam are the only services that actually entice me to spend money, i've bought hundreds of songs on iTunes and tens of game on Steam because they just make sense; they're really convenient, you can trust that you'll get the product hassle free and virus free and in the case of iTunes, you're getting far superior quality than a torrent provides.

gunabut said:

Any one who has anny sympathy with the record/film companies has been taken in by their b/s.

These companies have a business model from the times of vinyl . This model was highly profitable & made these companies a big easy wedge of cash. They do not want to change this model even though times have changed, All other models do not provide the massive profit margins they were used to, & believe it is their right to have & they might have to do a real days work

As an artist I would want as many people to listen to my work for free than never listening to it at all, but we alll know that the recording companies are not in it for the artists only the profits.

Good on the French at least as a country they have the balls to protest where most other countries are full of blind sheep thet just do as they are told without question.

Eddo22 said:

Tomsea obviously doesn't realize that greed is just as bad and probably worse than Piracy... in a way it is stealing. What's the phrase.. oh yeah. "The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

rufio said:

Rules are meant to be broken? Or something like that haha. There will always be NEW ways to pirate software and movies... and It's funny how these laws actually promoted piracy... back to the drawing boards

rajmond said:

I'm not a piracy user, but LONG LIVE PIRACY.

ToastOz said:

The music and video industry still make a ridiculous amount of money but everyone forgets about the adult film industry apparently since the release of the internet the dual market has dropped by ridiculous levels to a point were the stars can't even make enough money to survive. Yeah think about it.

Yoda8232 said:

Well I guess I'm never moving to France...

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have no problem with companies protecting their content. Some of the laws do seem pretty crazy though.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

When will people realize that Internet laws are nearly useless? The only real way to effectively combat illegal activity on the Internet is to provide incentives NOT to break the law, instead of making the consequences of breaking the laws more severe. Netflix is doing a great job of this with their video streaming. I used to pirate movies that I really didn't care to go see in the theater and that I didn't like enough to want to own it. Ever since I got a Netflix subscription, I don't care to pirate as I can watch many movies online as well as get a DVD every couple of days in the mail. As a result, Netflix, and in turn the movie companies, are getting my money whereas they weren't before. It's these kind of measures that will deter piracy.

flocka said:

Same people were "pirating" or downloading Their music/movies for free, are on their macbooks Downloading and "pirating" from other artists/movie producers

AimHigh99 said:

thebluemeaner said:

Laws are definetely no way to combat piracy. The music and movie industry should be ready with options that are competetitive. An example to follow is itunes and steam for games.

I concur. People are willing to pay for convenience. If companies make their products easily accessible for consumers to purchase, then people will gladly pay up.

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