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Washington got high level, detailed briefings on  France's 3-strikes law - also known as the Hadopi law - and the Telecoms Package. With the Motion Picture Association and the RIAA in the loop.


We always thought it,  but somehow the leaked cables,  released by the Wikileaks website from the American Embassy in Paris, are interesting even in their confirmation of our suspicions. In particular, they reveal  how the American entertainment industry lobbied for 3-strikes measures in Europe.  


Two cables have been made public by Le Monde, the French newspaper which has access to the full database of leaked cables. These two cables  tell us how the

US authorities were informed at the highest level about France's 3-strikes law, also known as the Hadopi law.


The US embassy was informed by the most senior official at the French Ministry of Culture, who was responsible for the Hadopi law - a man called Olivier Henrard. He is named in the cables as the ‘point-person' and appears to have passed to them detailed information on the passage of the law.   


Whilst the Embassy never applies any direct pressure on the French, it is evident from the tone of the cables that the US was keen for  the French to  go through with the 3-strikes measures.  The cable details the US  concerns about opposition to the law, and how  the Sarkozy regime could  overcome it.


It is evident that the Embassy's interest is to defend the US entertainment industries, and specifically the Motion Picture Association and the RIAA, who's lobbying message was that the 3-strikes law was "very important" to their anti-piracy strategies.  It is significant that the Embassy was liaising directly with the MPA President, Robert Pisano.


Further on, the author discusses the EU Telecoms Package, in the context of the French  3-strikes law.   The point of contact, Olivier Henrard, had  was critical of  the French Socialists' attempt to raise the issue of 3-strikes and Internet cut-off in the European Parliament, in the context of the Telecoms Package. And he assured the American government that France  would ‘push back' on any attempt in the Telecoms Package  to prevent the implementation of the 3-strikes law in France. This will be a direct reference to Amendment 138, which the French government did fight against.


Quotes from the Paris Embassy cables: 


"U.S. industry continues to watch the bill closely. Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)  President Robert Pisano told the Charge on March 20  that the graduated response law is "very important" to  the fight against online piracy, and to MPAA. The  Recording Industry of America has expressed similarSentiments"


"They [the French Socialist party - Ed] have also taken their case to the European Parliament, where debate over the right to disconnect users from the internet has been injected in to discussion of the EU telecoms package. The

Culture Ministry's Henrard decried Socialists' efforts to politicize the telecoms package, and indicated the

GOF would push back on any EU efforts to preclude the GOF from implementing its law."


Le Monde,

WikiLeaks : la loi Hadopi intéresse au plus haut point Washington , 3 December 2010

 PC Inpact , 
Wikileaks : les câbles de l'ambassade américaine sur Hadopi, 6 December 2010

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2010)  Hollywood's Hadopi lobbying outed in French embassy cables, 11 December 2010.


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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