France passes anti-piracy law

A bill requiring French ISPs to disconnect people who are caught downloading or sharing illegal content three times has been given approval by Senate. The controversial legislation will mean that illegal file-sharers will receive a warning through email first, then through a letter, and on the third offence, will face disconnection, according to an article by TorrentFreak.

The bill attempts to reduce online piracy by deterring users from illegally file-sharing, and was supported by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. Users who are disconnected may have to continue paying for their internet for the duration that they are disconnected, which can be up to a year.

The bill has faced a lot of heat from groups concerned that the new system will wrongly punish people, particularly if their computers are hijacked by hackers or malware. According to an article by the BBC, the legislation is "dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky for us citizens", according to socialist parliamentarian Patrick Bloche.

However, John Kennedy, chairman of the IFPI, stated that the bill was "an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France". The law was passed by Senate with 189 votes for, and 14 against.

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What a mess, & I've personally no doubt similar will eventually go into effect here in the US. I'm near deaf, so really have no horse in this race, being the last person in the world to dl tunes & all, but it's hard to ignore the stench when big money buys their own laws. I'm not naive enough to believe that every law, that every piece of legislation will be fair, but that doesn't mean I have to pretend it smells like roses.

It bothers me is that this is clearly a delaying tactic used by execs to keep their million dollar jobs, blaming illegal activities for the fact they're not increasing profits sufficiently. No one can provide actual figures -- it's all guesswork -- so they can huff & puff & whine that it's not their fault like some overly coddled schoolchildren. The smell of fear & desperation fills the air as they make such a grand show of doing something.

SO what happens if they're wrong? What happens when legislation doesn't prove that they're creative geniuses? Do they buy more laws, that are even worse than this round? Is someone going to say: "Oops" & write everyone harmed a check? And what about the ISPs?... In the US they're already anxious, exploring ways that they can collect broadband fees & not deliver bandwidth you've paid for. They justify it by saying that if you use bandwidth, you *must* be doing something naughty. These laws give them legal sanction & precedent. Does anyone think that if this doesn't work they'll go backwards, and resume delivering what consumers already pay for? Why in the world would they? Maybe we should rely on our politicians to admit it if they are wrong, and to not only fix whatever mess they've caused, but come clean on why they caused it? And I'll anxiously wait for Santa to finally bring me that crate of winning lotto tickets. ;?P

Simply, this isn't about what's right or wrong, legal or illegal, sharing or stealing or bootlegging content... That's the way the big money behind this would have you think, where they have steered any debate. It's not about making society any better -- a drunk driver can still wipe out your family in an instant, & maybe lose their license after the fact. It's not about fairness -- someone get's caught stealing from an illegal pot farmer & both the farmer & the thief go to jail. It's not about righting any wrong -- no one can prove anyone's lost anything, unlike victims of bad healthcare or pharmaceuticals or hazardous chemicals. Simply, it is about a revival of both feudal & coldwar logic -- if the deterrent is harsh enough, who would dare? They say that the situation is so extreme, no one will mind if a few rights get trampled, or a few innocents get harmed.

Where have we heard that before?

Wait for the next move of "Mr Sarkozy".

The entire world will laugh at the old France, country of the revolution, supposed to always support human right. Rememeber the nam : LOPSI 2.

France will become "Republic Popular of France".

Jus a quick sketch of the upcoming law: It will allow any minister to designate website that have to be banned by all ISP within a short amount of days. (If the ISP don't want to, there is an amend of 75 000€ + jail time).

Mr Sarkozy will simply let France get out of the internet neutrality.

With that "clever" move, any online news who will go against him, will have the damocles sword just above their head.

That's exactly the french government do bother to answer at questions, they don"t care.

France is in clearly in danger...

France internet scene are well documented on that matter and has followed the vote like no other law before. But Sarkozy 1st don't want to review is laW. I'm ashamed of my country, and will soon be a little more since after the EU vote, a second panel of law will be aborded, known as LOPSI, which will try to change the french internet in a minitel 2.0

Well, concerning the actual law, here is a little resume of this dead to be law:

- Consumers responsability to secure their internet access, even if they don't have the technical capacity.
- Control based on IP adress
- Official non free Spyware that consumers will be highly recommended to install on their machine. The spyware will not work on Linux system.
- If someone is accused and did not intall the spyware, he will be automatically considered as guilty
- Filtering and tattoo system for real real time monitoring
- Control of legal offer, via a "label" system (which does not include gpl or creative commons medias)
- Massive monitoring of P2P network, 10 000 email send by day, 3000 letters by day (for the second warning) and 1000 internet cut (starting in 2010). The systeme will be totally automatised.
- While someone has been recognized guilty, he will still be condemnable to pay an Amend (should remind you about the RIAA)
- Internet cut can go up to 1 year, and the family will have to pay the ISP. This one will particulary have though time passing the constitutional council.
- All of this will be take in charge by an "authority". Welcome to the the new Reich with an administrative logic instead of demcratic judgement.
- The cost of this law as been estimated by the ISP up to 200 000 000 €. You have read correctly, 200 millions...
- No independant expertise.
- Against the european law
- And the most important, The artist will not gain any money out of it.

Vive la France!

You may also add:
- About the connection cut: once your Internet connection has been cut, you're part of a national black list forbidding you to subscribe to another ISP during the cut period (I am wondering if it take care of your mobile phone Internet access as well, this would be totally crazy but we never know...)
- About the fine: even though you've been sanctionned by the HADOPI process (having to pay your cut Internet conenction), you could still, in some cases, be trialed for patent infrigment (or forgery or whatever), and risk up to €300'000 fine and 3 years in prison
- Thanks for us [people living in France], I guess the email and instant messaging filtering have been cancelled

As said by others, this stupid law is quite unlikely to help artists in anyway. On top of all, even the minister at the origin of the law, Christine Albanel (who doesn't seem to understand a single thing to networking by the way, as understandable when hearing her speeches) said the advanced user will be able to bypass the filtering using encrypted access and other things appearing on the web nowadays (I guess they refer to the decentralized Internet networks such as Freenet).

I hope the EU will do something about this crazy law, our [French] government s### like hell!!

Governments love to spend money on baseless things. Where you think all your tax dollars go to? US is a prime example of useless stimulus plans. As for losing customers, this is probably in accordance to all ISP's in France. So if you get d/c and try to go to another ISP, same issue? If EU forbids packet sniffing, i'm sure they'll just monitor how much bandwidth you have transferred per month. I say just go after the ones uploading huge amounts and be done with it. Should be a limit of 200 gb max and over means just watching Youtube daily shouldn't exceed that amount...

Brb grabbing some freedom fries while reading.
I highly doubt this law will last long. Enforcement is expensive and so are lawsuits.

Yeah, France rock...

Anyway, this stupid law, rejected first by our parliement have been presented a second time, to force it.

1st warning is by mail
2nd by post
3rd you connection will be cutted off for 1 year

You'll still have to pay for it, and only your internet acces will be cutted, not your TV or phone access, even if it pass via a DSL box (this is the funny part for ISP)

The identification process will be made by a private entity that the governement will create, called "HADOPI", without any judge. This entity will have the power to monitor web traffic and collect IPs on different protocols. (The recent re-proposal with even targetting emails, but it have been removed)
With this IP listing, the HADOPI will have the power to request informations regarding the subscriber to the ISP, who will be forced to give the identity of the subscriber linked to the IP.

This is the same entity that will pronounce the obligation tu cut the connection to the ISP.

If you are innoncent, you'll have to prove it (it's gonna be fun to see how EU react to that), and have to pay for a software that monitor your internet activity from your computer (not from your box). You can also send your hard drive to the HADOPI that will check it.


This law is one of the stupidest one ever, and the ministry in charge of it do not understand a thing about it. the proble is that IP are not a correct element to use it in an automated process, thet you are guilty before being innocent, and that the owner of the connection is not all the time the author of the "crime".
Plus, this whole process is financed by french state for the big music companies only (the independant one won't have access to the HADOPI)

Some says here that the recent vote on the 138' in the EU parliement will kill this law, but I don't think so, the 138 will be rejected by the 27th council and revoted later in the EU parliament later...


This is a small approach of this law, the problematic of a private entity having access to confidential informations is the key to understand it (without the need of having a judge behind that)
This still have to pass a last step anyway, hte "conseil constitutionnel" who will say is the law is applicable (regarding the laws) or not.

socialist parliamentarian? i thought we destroyed them in wwii?

anyway, i agree with the whole hijacking thing. i seen it happen with me-own eyes! definately not good for my fellow escargot eaters. poor lilly she is in danger.

Socialism and national socialism is not the same thing at all.

You have to know a little bit of politics tendancies to apprehend this "concept", and you seems to lack skill on that matter.

PLus, you didn't destroyed the "anti-whatever-people" party in Europe or even in your own country. Get a brain!

what most of you don't know is that there's a double penalty in this law

even if they're disconnected, by law they still have to pay their ISP subscription, unless they cancel it and in many cases have to pay termination fees of up to 90 euros

roadwarrior said,
What, do French ISP's require multi-month or yearly contracts or something? Thank God I don't live there!

standard rule is 12 month contracts
some don't impose minimum contract lenghts, instead they impose a degressive termination fee, the longer you stay with them the smaller it is (i.e starts at 90 euros, 3 euros shaved off for every month spent using that ISP)

Either way, that really sucks. In the US, most ISP deals are a month-to-month thing. At most, you pay a month in advance. You guys really let your ISPs walk all over you, don't you? And Europeans think the US has lousy internet service?? What are you comparing it to?

roadwarrior said,
Either way, that really sucks. In the US, most ISP deals are a month-to-month thing. At most, you pay a month in advance. You guys really let your ISPs walk all over you, don't you? And Europeans think the US has lousy internet service?? What are you comparing it to?

If you have a 12 month contract, the monthly fee is lower

first offence you can an e-mail? wern't we always taught never take anything in an e-mail seriously? how about they call you or send a letter on the first offence? you know... something that you can prove was done not an e-mail that can be gobbled up by junk mail fitlers or ignored by people thinking its a joke or scam

_dandy_ said,
Leave it to the French to surrender to pressure from the copyright groups...

Bonjourrrrrrrrrrrrrr ya cheese-eating surrender monkeys!

This is totally going to back fire on them. The ISPs are going lose a TON of customers.
I give it 2 months after going into affect before the law gets squashed.

Magallanes said,
6th download attempt :a medal (and a Guiness Record).

Hmm... I'm guessing you could get more than a medal if you can pirate stuff online post-execution.

GreyWolfSC said,
Hmm... I'm guessing you could get more than a medal if you can pirate stuff online post-execution. :)

Maybe he does 5th and 6th at once lol

GreyWolfSC said,
Hmm... I'm guessing you could get more than a medal if you can pirate stuff online post-execution. :)

Yeah you'd get some deep voiced guy saying: "UNSTOPPABLE"

How long before some harmless little family gets left out in the e-cold because of the neighbor kid down the street who uses their connection to download his warez?

It's folly to assume that the person who paid for the connection is the only one using it let alone abusing it.

Aahz said,
It's folly to assume that the person who paid for the connection is the only one using it let alone abusing it.
I think pretty much every Terms & Condition states that as a recipient of a Service, it is your responsibility how it is used. In other words, no difference whether it's your own kid who got warez or your wireless is insecure so it was the next-door kid who did it. The point is that it went through your Internet connection, you provided the means to download that kind of stuff so it's your head on the chopping block.

All an affected user would have to do would be to show a judge that no level of wireless security is unhackable, and they would have an ironclad defense. If there is no 100% effective way for them to keep people off of their network, then they cannot be held liable.

roadwarrior said,
All an affected user would have to do would be to show a judge that no level of wireless security is unhackable, and they would have an ironclad defense. If there is no 100% effective way for them to keep people off of their network, then they cannot be held liable.
Not entirely true. If you could have secured your network but didn't, then you're liable because there were reasonable measures you could take to prevent your connection from being "borrowed". However, if you secured your network, used a long password etc then you're less likely to be found liable. You actually have to show that you took steps towards securing your connection. It's no good just throwing arms up in the air and saying that no method is 100% hackerproof so I decided to do nothing in the first place. That won't fly, think about it.

Dogward said,
I am actually in France...

But this law is allready "dead" since the EU forbids sniffing packets...

You dont need to be sniffing packets to know who shares. Open utorrent, download a movie and check your peers. See all of those with the french flag? You've caught a 'sharer'. You can know the IP, the movie he's sharing and at what time. If you can do it, anyone can do it. But what they can do now is force the ISP to reveal the identity.

I'm not sure how they can achieve this without infringing on the privacy of their customers. I am also surprised that ISPs have not complained about this, as quiet a large portion of internet users (some estimate between 18 - 35% of all internet traffic is P2P) illegally file share. Should these people become disconnected, it will cost the ISPs.

Even if users still have to pay for the service whilst they are disconnected, I highly doubt many people will wish to remain customers of their ISP is they are disconnected by them for a year.

On the positive side, it may act as a deterrent to those considering illegally sharing files.

As far as the actual piracy goes, I believe that we should go one way or another - completely embrace the technology that fuels it in order to benefit both the artists and their fans, or charge for albums as we are now, but completely eradicate piracy. Lingering in the middle of the two is just making things difficult.

I think if there were more labels like the one Nine Inch Nails formed, then that would be the way to go. Although their music doesn't appeal to me, the way they go about making money seems a lot more "open" than the way others do.

However, that is just my personal opinion of course. You can only have one or the other - people like me, or people like the IPFI - whilst there are both, there is conflict, just like there is now.

They still know where the packets are going to and coming from even if they can't tell exactly what's in them.

GreyWolfSC said,
They still know where the packets are going to and coming from even if they can't tell exactly what's in them. ;)


And if those packets are going to and from random people all over the globe (as they would be with torrents)?

Nose Nuggets said,
so french ISP's sniff packets now?

is there any possible way to determine, 100%, if packets traveling between two IP's is 'illegal content' other then looking at the packet?

is looking at the packet not an intrusion of privacy?

France may have passed it but it still has to get past the EU MEP's which may not happen, and if it doesn't the french govt will have to return to the drawing board.

Every ISP that I'm aware of provides at least one e-mail address for you, even if you don't actually check or use it. That would be the address they would use.

I think every ISP assigns an email to every user (username@isp.com) and it is the user's responsibility to check periodically for messages from their ISP etc.
Edit: Beaten to it lol.

Shaun_ said,
not going to help if like me its not used. they would have to use snail mail

Thing is that they supply you with an email address whether you choose to use it or not. The ISP isn't going to bend over backwards for a few users that choose not to use that supplied email address. The ISP often believe it's your responsibility to check that supplied email address for any upcoming changes, warnings, or messages from them.

So they would not have to do anything special for customers such as yourself. If you chose not to check that email address periodically you'd just be SOL on getting your warnings.

Keep paying for a service you can't use? Funny.
I'm wondering how this isn't clashing with any privacy laws in the EU.

That was according to the TorrentFreak article. Other sources did not mention that, however, if you think about it, most ISPs lock you into a 12 month contract where even if you decide not to use the service you still have to pay. It happened to us when we moved house and switched providers; we had to keep paying for the old broadband for a few months until the contract ended.

I assume it is based on that. If your broadband contract was coming to an end when you were disconnected, I don't think you would have to pay any more.

Wow, and just when you thought France was going the way of supporting pirates, this drops.

I think it is fair game. If they don't heed the warning, then they suffer the consequences.

C_Guy said,
Well it's about time. Pay attention, France is leading the way.

Yeah, right up until the EU clobbers them for violating EU law.
Whoop-de-doo.

Whereas piracy should be punished, this is very wrong. You can't violate your citizens privacy and keep an eye on their private browsing to see if they are breaking the law. It's against the freedom that most Western countries are based upon to do so.

C_Guy said,
Well it's about time. Pay attention, France is leading the way.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

It's astounding that you don't realize that this "war" has already been lost? Just as written letters have almost disappeared thanks to email, there is a global shift in the way human beings are connected and communicate with one another. There is no stopping this.

Such ill considered "legislation" is both unenforceable and retards competition between ISPs, etc. More importantly, it only delays the inevitable.

I guess a day will come where file-sharing of protected media will be history. I hope by then the prices for these media will be better priced for the less fortunate classes of society.

I wouldn't mind paying for the media if the DVD/bluray wouldn't cost me 25$/40$ for every movie (the cost where I live). I appreciate the value and cost put into it, but i believe they would make the same amount of money in the end with more people willing to pay to watch.

While I agree with you that the prices for the media need to be better, let's keep in mind that one of the objectives for any business that is not non-profit is to make money, and if it will reduce their profit margin, it'd be difficult to convince them to lower the price.

Honestly, I wish the industry would provide some sort of justification on the price they are putting on the media. The DVD/Blu-ray (esp. Blu-ray) prices are just out of whack, and just how many people (outside of die-hard fans) watch movies more than a couple of times to warrant keeping it? There's a reason why people sign up for service like Netflix......

What, you really think prices have anything to do with piracy volumes? Sad. Companies price their products before anyone has a chance to pirate it. They just blame it on Piracy after.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.


That suggests that the people who download the cdmovie would have bought it in the first place?? That arguement doesnt hold water im afraid.

I'll openly admit that i download music, but if i like the album i WILL go out and buy it so i can listen to it properly on my high end car and home stereo. If anything, being able to download music in that way has actually MADE the record companies money, not taken it from them.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

Not true, I don't pirate anything, I use spotify for music, CDs for local copies, and FOSS for everything else I don't pay for, and I still think media is too expensive.

£20 in the UK for a blu-ray disc with no additional footage is complete extortion.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

If that were true, then the price of new DVD's would have gone UP in the last few years, but they haven't. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, they have gone down.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

Yes, and people who walk are to blame for high gas prices, and homeless people are to blame for high housing prices.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

if i wasnt goin to buy, then i wouldnt buy it anyway. so dont make it sound as if its the pirates fault.

solgae said,
While I agree with you that the prices for the media need to be better, let's keep in mind that one of the objectives for any business that is not non-profit is to make money, and if it will reduce their profit margin, it'd be difficult to convince them to lower the price.

But why not lower the profit margin to reach larger audience and therefore sell more quantity. This would at least would encourage more people to adopt a no-piracy mindset.

I enjoy the work of these artist and would love to support the industry, but i can't afford to buy everything i watch with the current pricing. That's why i do buy the media only when i really like and admire the material.

Honestly, many of the movies that i watch are not even worth renting and i would regret buying it. (god bless IMDB and who ever review movies there)

Btw, what if some records a movie that was played on free-to-air cable channels, would you consider that piracy ?! If so, then it is ok to download movies that are more than a year old, right ?
I wonder what's the legal obligation on this.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

Absolutely not, there are many other reasons for high prices. If what you say were true, games would be up in the $200's by now, as we've had computer piracy since the 80's in computer gaming.

C_Guy said,
The only people to blame for high prices are the pirates who feel entitled to take it for free.

Incorrect.

The price of DVDs and CDs will ALWAYS be set by the MBA 101 rule "what the market will bear". LONG before there was file sharing, the price of a DVD was the same as it is now. And even though the costs of mastering and manufacturing of DVDs and CDs have dropped to pennies per unit (a fraction of a percentage of its original costs), the prices of DVDs and CDs have stayed the same.

Why?

Because the price we all pay for corporate media has NOTHING to do with whatever is bootlegged or shared around the world. And anyone who argues otherwise has no grasp of the economic realities of the business world we live in.

Sealing wax, the horse and buggy, and physical distribution of entertainment media are all in the past for a reason...the CONSUMER ultimately decides, not the corporation.

And the VAST majority of consumers, especially young ones, share files, for free, with their friends.

_ThE . MaN_ said,
I guess a day will come where file-sharing of protected media will be history. I hope by then the prices for these media will be better priced for the less fortunate classes of society.

How can you be that extremely naive to believe that bs?
Prices of media (Dvd, Blu Ray, whatever) will *never* drop!
The industry is just using piracy as an convenient excuse for their high rip-off prices. If they should ever be able to get rid of it (which I seriously doubt), they'll just find another excuse to keep the prices high.
Their immense greed will simply not allow them to make the prices any lower.

Actually this is good news ... simply because companies can only be profitable if there are consumers ...

hence ... I would dare the French youth to download, get the 3 strikes and have their net cut off ...

not only would the isp's loose business but that would have a huge impact on the schools and everything else ...
for a family/young person that downloads a lot will make no diff in having this law since you are paying for a service and hence you are not paying to be policed pampered and ****ed up the ass when the govn/isp's want to

As would be here in the U.S. I am sure there are equivalent watch dogs for this type of stuff monitoring the internet.

I had a co-worker one time who was shut down after no warning. He was caught downloading movies. They told him to be reconnected, he had to sign a paper saying he would not do that anymore and any violations would result in prison time. It wasn't the ISP but Warner Bros. This happened here in a small town (less than 5k people) in Oregon. So, it can happen anywhere. In fact, that town now has the top cyber security division in the region. My town which has over 75k people doesn't even have that, but relies on them to do it.

I wouldn't put it past any ISP or any group to monitor stuff.

Lewism said,
People can bypass this law with VPN and encryption.

Can someone explain this in a bit more detail? I didnt think it was possible because they still are going to know where the stuff is going to and from.

If its VPN traffic its all encrypted data, there's no way any ISP can tap into it.

uTorrent actually already has encryption options.

C_Guy said,
Who can? People who are above the law? And who would those people be?

The vast majority of the free public citizenry that doesn't regard peer to peer file sharing as a crime.

In other words, EVERYONE other than corporate shills...

Bootlegging is a crime. Sharing is what I learned on Sesame Street.

SK[ said,]If its VPN traffic its all encrypted data, there's no way any ISP can tap into it.

uTorrent actually already has encryption options.

Erm, enjoy your three letters then

utorrent still broadcasts your ip, it just encrypts the packet header so that software cannot detect it as a torrent packet and limit your speed

A 2048bit encrypted end to end VPN is a completely different thing...

caught downloading or sharing illegal content three times?

What exactly does that mean? Caught by who? Do i have to be charged with and found guilty three times? or do i simply need to be accused of the crime three times?

Caught by your ISP it is assumed.

If you get caught downloading or sharing once, you get a warning. Do it again, you get a second warning. Do it again, your internet is disconnected for up to year.

Haha! Oh boy, this has to be fun for people not running secured wireless networks. :D

Cut off from the Internet because of a lack of knowledge in WLAN:s. Sounds a bit harsh.

Crompee said,
caught downloading or sharing illegal content three times?

What exactly does that mean? Caught by who? Do i have to be charged with and found guilty three times? or do i simply need to be accused of the crime three times?

Not by the ISP, they are making an institution that will deal with the whole thing. Since P2P networks are "public", the labels can monitor who shares what. I presume the copyright holders will record the IPs used, and then the institution will take her of getting the identities from the people and send the notifications.