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The Allostreaming case…

 A lesser-known provision in the French Hadopi law has been used by a Paris court to order de-indexing of websites by search engines. The order also calls for the blocking of sites by ISPs, where the domains concerned belong to a group known as ‘Allosteaming’. However, whilst the rights-holders are claiming an amazing victory, it is not quite so – due to the way the costs have been ordered.

 The case has been brought by groups representing French film producers, using evidence  gathered by the French anti-piracy association, known as Association de lutte contre la Piraterie

Audiovisuelle (ALPA). They have sought the blocking and de-indexing of 16 domains  that appear to be operated under an umbrella of ‘Allostreaming’ and ‘Dpstream’ and ‘Fifostream’, all of which are alleged to offer streamed versions of copyrighted films for commercial return ( details from PC Inpact and other sources) .

 The case has been ongoing since 2011. DP Streaming, one of the sites that is subject to the order, is registered to a company in Belize – hence it is off-shore and outside of French jurisdiction.

 The blocking order goes  against Orange, Bouygues Telecom,  Numéricable, Free, SFR, and Darty Telecom, and the de-indexing order is against Google, Microsoft (Bing), Yahoo! and Orange.  Interestingly, the order is against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc – in other words, the US-based parent companies -  as well as their French subsidiaries, which s raises the question of jurisdiction in these types of cases.

 All of these intermediaries have been ordered to use whatever method they deem most effective in order to impelemnt the blocks, as reported by another  French website, Numerama .

 In essence, the rights-holders have been ordered to pay the implementation costs of the ISPs and the search engines. According to the French techology website, PC Inpact, the court has said that the intermediaries may choose their own method of blocking, but it would not be reasonable to ask them to stump up the costs of doing it, hence it determined that  the rights-holders should  pay.

 The legal basis for the order is Article 336.2 of the  French Intellectual Property Code. This provision was inserted under the original Hadopi law in 2009 (Creation and Internet law - see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma ).  In essence, it permitted the regional Courts of the First Instance the power to order any measure to put an end to an infringement of copyright over public communication networks.

Article 336.2  did not receive as much publicity as the other elements of the Hadopi law, perhaps because it was not well understand. Oddly enough, I recall that it was a  lobbyist  who represented Microsoft’s interests who did recognise at the time what this provision could do. It is very broadly drafted, and gives regional courts wide-ranging powers.  

 It is similar to the provision that the  rights-holders  wanted to get into the Digital Economy Act, but which has since been repealed.


For the story of the Hadopi law (Creation and Internet) see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma .

For an account of the Digital Economy Act, see A Copyright Masquerade .

This is an original article from and reflects research that I have carried out. If you refer to it or to its content, please cite my name as the author, and provide a link back to Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten, 2013, Hadopi law used to order search engine de-indexing ,  in  12 December 2013. Commercial users - please contact me.


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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