Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 


I wrote this in 2008 when this website was first set up and I was in my early days of researching this policy. In 2022, it seems little has changed. Policy is still trying to use mass surveillance to enforce against users. The arguments are similar. The difference is the scale. 

Way back in 2008, the French government brought in a law  for measures to enforce copyright, which was officially called the Creation and Internet law, but colloquially  referred to as the Hadopi law ( loi Hadopi), and which was dubbed "3 strikes and you're out!"  The idea was that warnings would be sent to thousands of users accused of copyright infringement (delivered by ISPs to their customers on behalf of the copyright owners) and penalties would 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 Parliament in 2009.

The Hadop was actually a government body charged with supervising the law.  It was mandating changes to computer security software which effectively entail  mass surveillance of Internet users. Those behind the measures were entertainment and music companies who own large libraries of copyright material. They sought to use online surveillance to look for users alleged to be downloading files without payment or permission.

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  copyright enforcement policy and what happened to 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’

You may also  like my book The Closing of the Net which positions the story of the Hadopi law in the wider policy context.


The French ISP ‘Free' is being accused by the rights-holders  of an ‘unacceptable failure to co-operate' as it backs out of sending the first 3-strikes warning emails issued by the Hadopi..  


‘The French law implementing 3-strikes/graduated response measures - also known as the Hadopi law -  is being challenged before it has even got off the ground as the ISP ‘Free' backs out of an agreement and refuses to forward the warning emails to subscribers.


Free decided on Monday this week that it would not transmit the warning emails, which are the first stage of the 3-strikes process under French law. This appears to be a reversal of an agreement which it is understood was made with the French Culture

Read more: French ISP 'Free' risks fine over refusal to send 3-strikes emails

The Hadopi - the  French authority which oversees the 3-strikes law - has released the draft text of the warning emails which will be sent to Internet users, starting over the next few days. The warning is designed  remind users of what will happen to them if their  Internet subscription is used to download copyright-infringing material.


 The draft text is presented by the Hadopi as a formal letter, a pdf of a printed letter-head  (and presumably to be sent as an attachment).  It is addressed to the Internet subscriber  (not necessarily the same person as the 'user') and contains all the legal requirements as set out under the French government's graduated response / 3-strikes measures: that you Internet access has been used to make available, reproduce or access cultural works protected by copyright without the permission of the rights-holders, and that this constitutes a legal infringement; that this action could have been

Read more: Hadopi's 3-strikes surveillance obligation revealed

Up to 1000 French Internet subscribers are to get warnings next week. They will be accused of downloading a file which is susceptible of containing copyrighted material, through an unprotected Internet access. The ISPs have mysteriously caved in,  under a possible secret deal with the French government.


The first warning emails under France's 3-strikes law are due to go out in the next few days. It follows a request this week by the Hadopi (the body which oversees the law)  for the contact details of Internet subscribers based on IP addresses supplied by the rights-holders.

According to reports in the French media, the exact number of addresses requested  is not clear - it is

Read more: Strike One: Hadopi fires the first shots



States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing. I am on the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group.  I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. For more, see About Iptegrity 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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