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

France

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.

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The French government is giving contradictory signals about the  so-called Lex Google, that would see the American search engine company pay for including French newspaper articles  in its indexes. In a new twist,  it seems that it may not become a law at all – it may become a cosy, secret  agreement between Google and a select group of French media owners. This is the outcome favoured by President Hollande,  according to a press statement issued after a meeting with Google and representatives of the French media owners.

Read more: Lex Google: a private law for the French Internet?

Outright war declared between Google and the French media.

 France could have a law in place by next year that could kill off large chunks of Twitter and cause whole swathes of cyberspace to fall  silent. The law, dubbed Lex Google, is demanded by French, German and Italian media in name of protecting their businesses. It  puts at risk the lifeblood of Internet communication, namely hyper-linking. The outcome could be an all-out commercial war between the print media and the Internet giant Google.

Read more: Will Lex Google guillotine the publishers?

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.

Read more: Hadopi budget to be slashed as French review 3-strikes

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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." ITSecurity.co.uk

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

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

Iptegrity in brief

 

Iptegrity.com 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

Iptegrity.com 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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