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.


3-strikes  law is passed by the French Parliament in late night session. Opposition arguments failed to change its course, and alternative sanctions were squashed.  1000 people  a day are expected to be cut off the Internet under the new law. 


At around 11pm last night, the French Assemblee Nationale voted in favour of the Creation and Internet law . This is the law that will bring in graduated response or 3-strikes measures to clamp down on peer-to-peer filesharing and the uploading of music and television videos onto websites such as  You Tube.  According to French news reports, only 16 Parliamentarians were present for the vote, which

Read more: France votes in 3-strikes law

Creation and Internet law (Hadopi law) debate day 2.


Christine Albanel is put  under pressure over attacks on civil  liberties in the French Creation and Internet (3-strikes)  law and insults the opposition. But government amendments carried and opposition ones defeated.


The second day of the debate in the French Parliament on the Creation and Internet law, which seeks to cut file-sharers off the Internet for downloading copyrighted content, was interrupted by a  double gaffe from the  French culture minister, Christine Albanel. Under fire from opposition Socialist and Left parties over her 3-strikes proposals,  she accused the opposition members  of creating a caricature of  the Hadopi authority as 'some sort of Gestapo'. In France, the use of the word 'gestapo'  represents a serious insult, and she was forced to retract her statement. 


It came in the middle of a debate on Article 2 of the law, which sets out the functions and structure of the Hadopi - the authority which will oversee the 3-strikes measures. Madame Albanel  was responding to an attack from the opposition that the Creation and Internet  law made an assumption that the person accused is guilty, unless they can prove their own innocence, reversing the legal principle of presumption of innocence in  European law. It followed a long series of opposition accusations that the Hadopi represents an attack on civil liberties -  which also include the lack of privacy

Read more: Hadopi is no gestapo, gaffes French culture minister

French opposition politicians accused the Sarkozy regime of waging war on France's youth, in the  first day of debate on the Creation and Internet law in the French Parliament .  In a polarised debate - ‘Internet users versus ‘la creation' -   415 amendments were tabled.


***There is a  live webcast of the French Parliament debate on the Creation and Internet law. ***


Will Madame Albanel, the French culture minister,  get her way?  The French  Creation and Internet law (also known as the Hadopi or 3-strikes law) is creating a deep divide  the French Parliament (Assemblée Nationale), including a riftt within President Sarkozy's own UMP party.


The law is an 'anti-piracy' measure, and seeks to put in place a graduated response or 3-strikes regime of penalties for French Internet users who download. It is particularly targetting peer-to-peer file-sharers. The polarisation of views was  evident in watching the first day of the debate, which was yesterday (11 March). Opposition politicians accused Mme Albanel and the Sarkozy government  of  ‘liberticide' and waging war on France's youth. They attacked the law for its proposals to police the ‘Net, creating ‘Orwellian

Read more: Hadopi law: waging war on France’s youth


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’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. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. 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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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


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


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