Crazy French copyright law translated to English

French copyfighter Jeremie Zimmermann sez,
Folks from La Quadrature du Net (big up to Peter K!) have translated the French HADOPI law [ed: the new French copyright law, rammed through by Sarko over howls of public protest], which includes the absurd "three strikes" scheme [ed: if you are accused of infringement three times, you lose your Internet access -- no proof needed, no trial, no judge, no jury], bound to fail and utterly dangerous.

Curious archeo-legalists will enjoy its exotic stupidity, so impractical that everybody in France laughs at it with shame, including the members of Sarkozy's locked-down majority party who didn't dare to vote against it.

Pay particular attention to article 5 - subsection 3 where the "riposte graduee" is described, along with article 11 (obligation of "securing" one's internet access against it being used for counterfeiting, a complete technical nonsense that is the cornerstone of the whole thing).

Article 10 is also an incredible model of the worst you shall not write into the law if you want to prove that you understand what Internet is about, and how its growth and innovation worked so far:

"Art. L. 336-2. In the presence of infringement of a right of authorship or a similar right within the contents of a public on line communication service, the Superior Court, decreeing as required on the form of the hearing, may order at the request of the owners of protected works and objects, of the holders of their rights, of societies for the management of rights set forth in article L. 321-1 or professional organizations set forth in article L. 331-1, all measures needed to prevent or halt such damage to a right of authorship or a similar right, against any entity able to help remedy it. "

Enjoy it while it lasts, as it may soon be completely invalidated or neutralized by the Constitutional Court, or later on by the European courts... Yet Sarkozy's will of controlling the Internet doesn't seem to be stopped by such tiny details as constitutionality or rationality.

(please note that the translation is a work in progress that probably contains translation errors, with no legal value, and that only the original in French, blahblah, insert proper disclaimer here.)

HADOPI full translation (Thanks, JZ!)


  1. Sorry. I am ashamed to be french when i see this.
    I hope we didnt start nothing this time, and nobody wont follow us.

  2. I don’t know the specifics of French Law but it would be interesting if corporations are subject to the same 3 strikes rule.

    Imagine if a photographer’s pictures were used without compensation by a major french news paper.

  3. The law is voted, but first must pass the review by the Constitutionnal Council. 11 constitutionnal points have been raised concerning HADOPI law (the name of the administrative instance to be created to enforce this law), the verdict must be announced on june 19th.

  4. Other than the bad translation, you seem to have a quote that says a superior court is empowered to order a take down of infringing material. There are obviously much worse things in this law than a section letting a superior court make a legal finding of infringement and order a take down. This section is hardly unusual.

  5. >which includes the absurd “three strikes” scheme [ed: if you are accused of infringement three times, you lose your Internet access — no proof needed, no trial, no judge, no jury], bound to fail and utterly dangerous.

    Riiiiiiiiiight. This “accusation=conviction” aspect of the law seems like it’d be vulnerable to exploitation by bitter, immature, fist-swinging cry-babies and other small-minded elements.

    It reminds me of the endless wars of junior high and high school, and how certain people, including a couple teachers, would argue that the fact that I was being attacked was an indicator that I must have been doing something wrong. (Never mind the behavior of the attackers.)

  6. Capsule summary: “I unclog my nose at you, you sons of window-dressers!”

    On a tangent: I’ve noticed that there are next to no open access points in the UK anymore. Does English law now oblige owners of WiFi access points to lock them down or be held responsible for any paedopiraterrorist activity perpetrated through them, or is it just the grasping, monetising culture of neo-Thatcherite Britain shining through?

  7. Since it’s apparent that officials from most/all countries don’t feel the need to obey the laws they make, I suggest a little sleuthing; wouldn’t it be grand to ‘put a strike’ on Sarko, or even better, Carla Bruni, for having illicit music files?

  8. @#3

    We already have take down orders, as I suppose in every country.

    Don’t you have any imagination to see that ” all measures needed to prevent or halt such damage to a right of authorship or a similar right, against any entity able to help remedy it.” goes waaaay beyond take down notices ?

    Content filtering, shuting down datacenters, imposing blocking software, whatever might come to the mind of a judge could be considered *a measure needed to _prevent_ or_halt_ copyright infingement, taken agains _any entity_ able to help*.

    That’s as broad and unprecise as scary.

  9. And remember that an initial h is not pronounced in French, so this law is pronounced “a-dopey”. Coincidence? We report – you decide.

  10. Their e-mails may be phishing.
    And their calls may be social-engineering.
    Muhaha !
    Seriously, every french media is acting like this is normal, we’re in deep shit.

  11. Believe me, it’s more “Three-strikes scam” than “three-strikes scheme”…
    But the worst is still to come with another Orwellian bill called lopsi2 and designed to control everything on the Web in spite of people’s privacy and long acquired civil liberties.

  12. @#9 DWITTSF

    Sarkozy already had his user name and password compromised in late 2008. It was used to extract money from his bank account.

    I wonder if the authorities arrested someone for downloading in France, is it enough to have the defense that someone else did it using their account? Sarko can’t even keep his own accounts safe.

  13. It’s such a shame to be French now a days. How can we let this happen? I want to move out this country, I feel like in Berlin in 1937…

  14. So you’re saying that if three people accuse Sarkoze of infringing on copyright then the french president will be banned from the internet, regardless of the truth of the accusations?

    Wow… I know how I’d protest that if I were french.

Comments are closed.