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’