The Closing of the Net  "original and valuable"  Times Higher Education


The French government brought in a law  for measures to enforce copyright, which is officially called the Creation and Internet law, but colloquially  referred to as the Hdaopi law ( loi Hadopi), and which have been dubbed " 3 strikes and you're out!"  Warnings will be sent to thousands of users accused of copyright infringement (delivered by ISPs to their customers on behalf of the copyright owners) and penalties will include termination of Internet access. The proposals were first put forward  by the 'Mission Olivennes', and commission headed by Denis Olivennes, former head of the French retail chain called the Fnac. The law passed through the French legislature in 2009.

The French law is supervised by a government body known as  the Hadopi. It is mandating changes to computer security software which effectively  entail  mass surveillance of Internet users. Those behind the measures are the  private corporations (entertainment and music companies who own large libraries of copyright material), who will look for users alleged to be downloading files without payment or permission.

The progress of the Hadopi measures is of interest to other EU Member States, some of whom are thinking about implementing similar copyright enforcement provisions.

My paper The French law on Creation and Internet – using contract law to squash file-sharing is available here.

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in France, copyright enforcement policy and the Hadopi law, you may like my books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

The Hollande government in France seems unable to decide on a policy  position for copyright.  Not long ago,  it shunted the Hadopi authority into a siding,  now  it is calling other Member States aboard for new  Europe-wide anti-piracy  measures.

 In a new position  paper, issued at the European Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels this week, the French government has called for a new European plan to address  copyright infringement and counterfeits. Using rights-holder language, it says it wants to ‘re-launch of the fight against piracy’ in Europe,  and it puts forward  possible avenues for the EU to explore.  Most concerning, is its proposal to

Read more: France wants to relaunch the EU 'fight against piracy'

Hadopi, the public authority charged with adminstering France’s 3-strikes anti-filesharing law, has just had its third birthday. To mark anniversary, it has released a report covering its activity to date. Interestingly, it reports 1 sole Internet disconnection in 3 years. It also outlines the underlying  bureacratic process, plus an issue with identifying subscribers. A close reading of the  report raises questions about the scale and costs  of implementing 3-strikes measures to enforce copyright online. Can it really provide value for money? 

Read more: Hadopi turns three – bon anniversaire?

But what of intermediary liability? Iptegrity has examined the Lescure report.

The French government, led by the Socialist President Hollande, is to partially reverse the controversial 3-strikes (graduated response)  law and re-modelling it in what government hopes will be a more user-friendly format. France  is also bringing in a range of new measures that are intended appease the copyright industries. Among them is a proposal to tax devices such as smartphones and tablets. Whilst these measures will grab the headlines, there are other proposals lurking beneath the surface that are less clear, for example, the French government’s approach to intermediary iability in this context.

Read more: Hadopi slashed & smartphones taxed in French 3-strikes re-modelling







The Copyright Enforcement Enigma tells the story of the 2009 Telecoms Package and how the copyright industries tried to hijack it.

'accurate and absorbing account of the story of the Telecoms Package' -Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

'...a must read for those interested in knowing in depth about copyright enforcement and Internet.' -Journal of Intellectual Property Rights.  

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

European Parliament launch for Copyright Enforcement Enigma

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten, European expert on Internet policy and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on Cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT). She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy. Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review

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