But will it get the chop? That is the big question.

 The budget for the Hadopi, the French State-run administrative body that oversees the 3-strikes measures, looks set to be cut as the new government seeks financial savings. The budget cuts put the future of the 3-strikes measures into question. They could   indicate that the Hollande regime is not so enamoured of the graduated response and is prepared to stand up to the copyright industries. In tandem, Hadopi’s progress will be examined by a  government review that is due to report next March.

The possibility  of the Hadopi  budget cuts was raised by the French Culture Minister, Aurélie Filippetti, in an interview with the  magazine Le Nouvel Observateur. Mme Filippetti is quoted as saying that “12 million euros per year and 60 agents, that is expensive way to send one million emails”.  On that basis, the cost of the Hadopi  is difficult to justify.  After the summer recess n September, Mme Filippetti  intends to ask for Hadopi’s finances to be ‘seriously reduced’.

 Hadopi’s most  recent statistics cite 1 million warning emails, 99,000 ‘strike 2’ letters, and only 314 people whose dossiers will be sent to the courts for possible disconnection.

The government review will be headed by a former television executive and director of Canal+, Pierre Lescure, who was appointed on July 3.

 Mr Lescure’s brief is much wider than Hadopi, and encompasses a general review of the French cultural industries and cinema in the digital era. He has been asked to examine Hadopi against its other brief to develop new business models.

 This brief to develop new business models was in the law that set up Hadopi, and it is  an official mandate. However, it has had little attention, as  the main spotlight has fixed on the 3-strikes enforcement measures and Internet disconnection.

 It always seemed as though  new business models were included as  a kind of sop to ISPs, with no real intention of ever doing anything. The  Sarkozy government did set up a 3-man commission under the Hadopi banner,  to address new business models. But the inclusion of the former pro-copyright MEP Jacques Toubon on that commission made it seem  comic rather than serious. ( See Toubon strikes again - France to tax Google  )

 It now seems that failure to address new business models could become the stick to beat up the Hadopi and its proponents from the copyright industries.

 The new government’s position is consistent with the stance taken by Mr Hollande’s Socialist  Party’ in opposing the Hadopi law as it went through the French Parliament. The Hadopi battle was also played out in Brussels.

Aurélie Filippetti would not reveal whether Hadopi will ultimately be abolished. That is the job for Mr Lescure –if he is willing to bite the bullets from the rights-holders.


To find out more about the development of the Hadopi law, and how this French domestic  fight over copyright  went to  Brussels, see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma  .

 This is an original article from Iptegrity.com. You may re-publish it under a Creative Commons licence, but you should cite my name and provide a link back to iptegrity.com.  Media and Academics – please cite asMonica Horten,  Hadopi budget to be slashed as  French review 3-strikes,  www.iptegrity.com, 3 August    2012 . Commercial users - please contact me