A new law, known as the Loi HADOPI after the authority which will oversee the implementation ( the High Authority for the diffusion of content and protection of rights on the Internet) sets out how users may be sanctioned by ISPs on behalf of copyright owners. Information will be passed between them via the HADOPI authority to get around data protection rules. Data retention laws will also be amended to enable the data to be stored for a year and accessed for the purposes of copyright protection.

Users will receive an electronic and a written warning, before being threatened with suspension of their account and ultimately termination (hence 3 strikes and you’re out!’. The electronic warnings will be sent to thousands of users, using an automated system. ISPs will be forced to check a blacklist of terminated users before signing up new customers, and fined if they fail to do so.

And a new Charter for ISPs, which will mandate the filtering of content. Filtering means the ISPs will check for anyone using P2P software and may slow it down or block it. They may also – depending on how it is implemented – be asked to open every packet of data to inspect it for copyrighted content. This would be the equivalent of asking the post office to open every envelope in case it contained copyrighted material.

The law is in draft form and is in the early stages of the French legislative process. 

The rationale for the law is that the French music industry has seen a 50% drop in volume and value over the past five years. France is concerned about the future of its cultural industries, which are importantly economically and culturally. The French cultural industry has collaborated with the Hollywood studios and the IFPI to lobby for copyright enforcement measures.