France adopts law that lets entertainment goons take your family off the net if one member is accused (without evidence) of violating copyright

Jérémie Zimmermann from the French digital liberties org La Quadrature du Net sez,

The French Parliament has adopted HADOPI 2, a law aimed at establishing a so-called "three-strikes" policy in order to fight file-sharing. The Constitutional Council made groundbreaking decision on June 10th 2009 that recognized access to the Internet as essential to the full exercise of free speech, and invalidated the sanctioning power of HADOPI 1. The law HADOPI 2, despite the internet cutoff now being handled in an expedient form of judicial justice, it is as flawed and dangerous as its predecessor, for it was only designed to circumvent the Constitutional Council's decision. The war on sharing continues its way as HADOPI 2 will go through the constitutional test again. ***

After an expedient democratic debate, in which valid alternatives to the war on sharing and possible futures for the cultural economy were systematically ignored by the bill's proponents, the "three strikes" policy might become law. It has already been a long process, after the Members of the European Parliament expressed on three occasions their strong criticisms of the French government's plan. After a first rejection of the law and a second vote in France, the Constitutional Council eventually followed the European Parliament in stating that Internet has become a vital component of the freedom of expression and communication, thus invalidating punitive provisions of the HADOPI 1 law.

Yet, this new law is still as dangerous and flawed as the previous one. First of all, HADOPI 2 fails to guarantee the right to a due process. Instead of giving sanction powers to an executive agency, as HADOPI 1 did, it makes possible to judge copyright infringements and order Internet cutoff through a "simplified judicial procedure". This procedure does not include any contradictory debate or public hearing, and all kind of prior judicial investigation will be left out. Moreover, the Internet cutoff can be ordered as a complement for a standard fine for "negligence" in securing one's Internet access.

Second, alleged infringers would still be convicted on the sole basis of IP addresses that cannot be considered as valid evidence, and which are collected by private actors. And since one has no material way of opposing the validity of these "evidences", this new version of the graduated response still clearly violates the presumption of innocence. It is now up to the Constitutional Council to examine the law, and draw the necessary conclusions.

Yet another adoption of liberty killer "three strikes" law in France. (Thanks, Jérémie!)


  1. Easy:

    1) create a fair use Sarcozy parody video with a license that it’s free to view/use by anyone except Sarcozy and anyone in government.

    2) Simmer on the net for a week or two, then

    3a) send a takedown to Sarcozy for viewing the video and have him kicked off the net.

    3b)Have the whole government kicked off the net, on the basis that the parody must have been viewedd by at least some people in government due to the nature of the video.

    4) ???

    5) profit!!!

  2. Step 1. Wait for law to pass
    Step 2. Anonymously accuse everyone who voted for the bill of piracy & watch their internet get shut off
    Step 3. Profit?

  3. I strongly suspect that the person (or should I say entity) doing the accusing is also and important factor in these laws. Not just anyone can accuse copyright infringement and get this response, is my thinking. even though anyone can have copyrighted works and be infringed upon I think not all accusations will be considered equal.

  4. Of course the obvious, sensible, response to this law should be for members of the public to seek out copyright infringement on the part of lawmakers, and accuse. I expect that once the effects become understood on them, MPs will become less keen on the law.

  5. quote: “It has already been a long process, after the Members of the European Parliament expressed on three occasions their strong criticisms of the French government’s plan.”

    Doesn’t that count as three-strikes for the three-strikes law?

  6. What we are seeing is business organizations twisting the law to protect their (perceived) interests. I think the people paying for the laws truly believe that filesharing is a criminal act threatening their livelihoods, and are acting vigorously and proactively.

    Which makes me realize that “we, the people,” act re-actively, defensively in the face of laws that eat away on our rights.

    We ought to be lobbying for laws establishing net neutrality and making it illegal for anybody to interfere with the data we are paying for.

    This legislation makes it extremely easy to threaten, control and ultimately oppress internet users who do not comply with X. We speak about governments in Iran, China etc. controlling and censoring the internet, while approving of laws that allow ultimate censorship, with surgical precision.

    It is our responsibility to pay attention to the laws that define our freedom and put conscious effort in protecting our interests. Being on the defensive does not serve us. We owe it to ourselves and our children to press for ever increasing set of rights, as this would be the only way to strike a balance with a force that constantly tries to take them away.

  7. Yes, yes, let as many people (or French people, if necessary) continually accuse those in power, especially those who voted for the law, of infringement. Even if individual protests are ignored, the overwhelming number becomes a de-facto denial of service campaign.

  8. It’s time everyone became involved in this, in a very simple and easy to do way. Stop giving these people people money! Stop buying music, movies, ringtones etc…

    I don’t think it’s the content creators so much as the content controllers, but this is the only thing they will ever listen to. When people stop paying them, they will either go under or wake up.

    I don’t think it would even take very long for this to make an impact. I haven’t bought music or movies and don’t go to theaters or concerts, in the past two years. I’m just sick of the greed. Most of what has been produced in the last two years is not worth buying anyway.

    I also don’t steal or share. I enjoy the things I already have and can wait until greedy corporations decide to treat us like humans again.

  9. It’s win-win for RIAA (and its international incarnations).


    A) People grudgingly accept the three strikes law and the RIAA slowly dismantles the Internet at its leisure.


    B) Civil disobedience and a flood of false accusations which paralyzes the Internet, the judicial system, etc. until no one has access.

    Their objective with HADOPI is to destroy the Internet in France, and let the French foot the bill for its implosion. They can’t lose.

  10. Stupid laws are like stars.

    Sometimes they’re just stupid enough so that they fold in on themselves and poof.

    But every once in a while, you get these laws that are so gloriously, excruciatingly stupid, that when they finally do go nova, their collapse sends shockwaves all across this series of tubes we call the internet.

    France! I’m missing my percussion! Bring it to me!

  11. All the people who are recommending making false accusations of piracy (as a tactic to demonstrate the stupidity/injustice of the law) are missing the point.

    @baldhead (#5) has it right. Accusations of piracy from large corporations will be accepted; accusations of piracy from individuals will be ignored.

  12. Angusm

    Then the amateur data-sniffers of the world will just have to find actual evidence of copyright infringment and accuse them for real.

  13. So under this fLaw Lilly Allen would be disconnected for her recent unattributed copy and paste pro copyright blog post.

    I wonder how she feels about being a pirate.

  14. I think a good way to deal with this is for everyone to quickly learn how to crack WEP (I personally don’t know about WPA but if possible learn that as well) and start downloading MASSIVE files on as many different wireless networks as you possibly could. Literally shutting the system down, there would be no way to ignore the obvious hopelessness of this type of law.(anyone here read that book Little Brother by Mr. Doctorow? a similair idea is implemented by the protagonist.) Sure, for a while we would all suffer but in the long run I think it would work out. Oh, and refusing to pay for any media released from the big guys. I don’t live in France but I know if this goes through it will be coming my way soon (U.S.) and I don’t plan on sitting back, watching my main access to culture be taken away from me. Playing nice and pandering to the bureaucrats is just silly to me.

  15. If a bureaucrat’s wifi gets compromised and someone pirates music with said bureaucrat’s internet connection — will the bureaucrat lose access to the internet? Just wondering.


  16. Now watch Governments all around the world use this as an example of how the French have successfully fought digital piracy without any ill consequences.

    People of France, please do everything in your power to make this law fail and fail dramatically. It is the only way other nations will not start adopting it left right and centre.

  17. As long as the film industry refuses to enter the market for downloadable films in openly playable formats, why should the informal market be illegal?

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