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.


France's Constitutional Council has effectively neutered the 3-strikes law. The power to restrict someone's Internet access equates to a restriction of their liberty. Only a judge can make that kind of decision.


The decision of the Conseil Constitutionel was released today. It follows the passing of the Creation and Internet law via an emergency process on 13 May, as a key plank in the French government's strategy to deal with downloading of music and film over the Internet.  This law proposed to set up an authority known as the HADOPI, which would act as intermediary between rights holders organisations and ISPs, and would pass on the allegations from the rights holders with a request to the ISPs to warn or sanction their users.

There has been considerable public debate about the status of the HADOPI, whether it is a court or indeed, if it has any legal authority to sanction member of the public. This is the guts of the issue surrounding the Telecoms Package Amendment 138.

Today's decision makes it clear that

Read more: French 3-strikes law neutered in surprise judgement

President Sarkozy's  Creation and Internet law, also known as the Hadopi law, which will bring in 3-strikes anti-filesharing measures in France, has been passed by the Assemblee Generale and the Senate. This means that it will shortly become law.


In the Assemblee Generale, it was voted by a narrow majority of 296 votes in favour to 233 votes against. This was the second time it had gone through, after having been rejected on the first occasion. French President Sarkozy and his Culture Minister, Christine Albanel, bent all the French Parliamentary rules to get it through the legislature a second time, in just one month.

The vote is in spite of the European Parliament's opposition to 3-strikes, as  expressed in the Telecoms Package vote

Read more: Sarkozy bends rules to get in 3-strikes law

"Le texte est rejete!"


The French government's Hadopi  law to ban file-sharing by cutting people off the Internet has been defeated in a surprise victory for the opposition parties against the ruling Sarkozy regime.


Last Thursday, the law - correctly called  the Creation and Internet law -  was put to a second vote in the Assemblee

Read more: French Hadopi law defeated in surprise vote


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.

Contact  me to use  iptegrity content for commercial purposes

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark