Multinational copyright companies will require French ISPs turn over 150,000 subscriber names and addresses per day

France's "3-strikes" rule comes into effect this week, and multinational corporations are already flooding French ISPs with more than 10,000 requests a day for the personal information of accused infringers; they estimate that this number will go up to 150,000 users/day shortly. Once a user has received three unsubstantiated accusations of infringement, the entire household is cut off from the Internet for a year, and it becomes a crime for any other ISP to connect that family or household. The only opportunity to defend yourself from the charge is a brief "traffic-court"-like streamlined judiciary.

ISPs that are not able to turn over 150,000 personal identities per day face a fine of €1,500 per accused infringer.

The Internet providers will be tasked with identifying the alleged infringers' names, addresses, emails and phone numbers. If they fail to do so within 8 days they risk a fine of 1,500 euros per day for every unidentified IP-address.

To put this into perspective, a United States judge ruled recently that the ISP Time Warner only has to give up 28 IP-addresses a month (< 1 per day) to copyright holders because of the immense workload the identifications would cause.

All the major French ISPs have to cooperate with the identification process, and the first 'victims' are expected to be disconnected or fined in a few months when they receive their third warning. At this point it is doubtful whether Hadopi will in fact decrease the piracy rate.

France Starts Reporting 'Millions' of File-Sharers


  1. One may start with accusing the drafters of this bill, and those at the head of the French Media Industry behind this.

    Either they can be disconnected themselves, or exceptions will quickly be brought into place that will allow the average citizen to defend themselves.

  2. This is insanity. Someday there will be no one left in power who did not grow up with the internet. That will be a good day.

  3. The quickest fix for this would be to determine the personal IP addresses for as many major politicians and CEOs as possible, and then use spoofing to make it appear that those addresses are involved in downloading copyrighted material. Once the president’s family and half the legislature is off the net, they might reconsider the wisdom of the law.

    1. Maybe 4chan will take up the cause. In fact, I’m sure they will, once two or three of their members get disconnected.

    1. They are all offenders! All French violate copyright. Every day! In a little over a year, every French IP #’s owner will be turned over. If all goes well, every French citizen will be banned from the Internet in about 5 years for their wanton crimes.

  4. At this point it is doubtful whether Hadopi will in fact decrease the piracy rate.

    Sure it will… when the entire country is finally cut off from the internet, piracy within the country will be limited to sneakernet, which is much slower.

    1. Sneakernet slower? What?

      I can easily carry a dozen 2tb hard drives. Walking them over to my friends house takes 15 minutes. 24 terabytes in 15 minutes is hundreds of times faster than the fastest internet connections on earth.

      1. There was a saying, “do not underestimate the bandwidth of a wv beetle filled with tapes at highway speed”. I wonder if i should start mailing HDDs around, like some did with amiga floppies. Will they push for postal intercepts then?

    2. given the french interest in parkour/freerunning, i wonder if that will be the sharing network going forward.

  5. The easiest way for the youth of France to put an end to this idiocy would be to set every single routing device they own to be nodes in and build an encrypted non-isp
    distributed network to use for their own purposes. But it won’t happen because too many people are addicted to being products sold by the social networks.

  6. I agree with Joe above. If I worked at a French ISP, I’d filter for major politicians and CEOs and their families first…Hey, the law doesn’t specify the order in which the ip’s are sent. And I’ll end with saying that I hope the maxim of the past will continue: ‘The French copy no one, and no one copies the French’.

  7. I’m french, I didn’t vote for Sarko, and I could see this coming years ago, when the guy was proud to say that 20 % of his presidential campaign was financed by Universal records.
    He is only good at pleasing his masters and fixing the troubles he caused himself.

  8. Could ISPs charge a 15 euros fee per request from rightholders to cover any workload requests create, or does hadopi prevent that? If I was a major ISP, I would’t be too keen on being turned into the entertainment industry’s bitch. They should sue.

    1. Actually, the ISP should copyright the logs a work products. Then bring on the lawyers for copyright infringement when the logs are “re-used” for purposes the rightholders did not intend.

  9. This will stop piracy for two reasons. 1) Virtually all of France will be kicked off the internet. 2) All French ISPs will go out of business because so much of their time and resources will be devoted to fulfilling these insane requests and operating costs will be too high to continue functioning.

    Enjoy an internet-free France!

  10. I foresee a glorious future for the French Pirate Party.

    Seriously, this just boggles the mind. If the rightsholders are actually serious about this, then they’ll be shooting themselves in the foot. No other country will want to adopt laws like these. Sarkozy and UMP are bound to lose the youth vote over this. They might have been happy about those political contributions, but sometimes it doesn’t pay to stay bought.


    Yes, Sarkosy will bankrupt every ISP in the country in a month. He eats babies too. This is politically untenable, and only because Universal’s lawyers are greedy to the point of insanity!

    This would stand, despicable as it is, if they weren’t flooding an untested system. More than a couple hundred requests per ISP per month is over the top due to human limitation. Smart lawyers would boil the water slowly, but these morons are the seeds of their own demise.

    In decreasing order of likelihood:
    requests will be ignored
    requests will be limited
    smaller isps will go out of business

    or finally, all ISPs will go out of business, France will be cut off from the internet, and we get another revolution! Weeee!

  12. Isn’t this really a self fulfilling prophecy? At the rate they expect things to go they will be losing whole percentages of their customer base per month. In a year or two you’ll have 20% or more of the nation cut off.

    1. At 150,000 requests per day (assuming each one is for a single person’s 1st, 2nd or 3rd request) it will take about three and half years to disconnect every single person in France individually. Given that at least some people live together and this system cuts off households, not individuals, the process should be much faster.

      Do businesses get cut off if people use their connections at work? That could be really fun.

  13. If you get your internet access cut off do you have to pay? if 150K are examined every day, and 1% are hitting their 3rd strike, and even if you assume diminishing returns it won’t be long until some ISPs need to start raising rates to cover lost business, or are going out of business altogether.

    A big problem with this 3 strikes approach is that we are often guilty of copyright without even knowing it. I think, I’m not totally sure, I think even Strom Thurmond’s website accidentally (and ironically) violated copyright on some javascript.

    I hope that when the gov’t accidentally violates copyright that they are dealt with just as harshly as Joe Blo. If they are it won’t be long until they are off-line also…not likely though, I’m sure it will be a do as I say not as I do scenario.

  14. Based on a population of nearly 63 million people, 150K per day comes out to a little over one year to get every man woman and child. Assuming that not every person in france has their own IP address, accounting for multiple hits to the same household and weeding out the population that does not have internet access, you could drop that time frame to less than a year. I’m sure with some creative spoofing and a coordinated effort, any interested pirate group could cut that down to a few months. I can’t wait to see some mob activists try it just for the lulz.

  15. I have a couple of really basic questions about this and similar stories about incoming copyright laws in, for example, the UK. I wonder if someone sensible would answer them for me?:

    1. Isn’t it just a matter of time before the notion of cutting off millions of internet users on the basis of unsubstantiated accusation is dismissed as “stupid” by the international court of human rights as soon as the first test case comes along?

    2. Won’t it simply be impractical and ridiculously self-defeating for millions of ordinary internet users and families to be cut off from the internet? I *just can’t see it happening*.

    3. Is this stage one of a two stage strategy by entertainment giants? Stage 2 is, they campaign for a legal exemption whereby disconnected users can reconnect to a new type of internet, basically a “walled garden” a la Apple…so you would pay for the hosted pages and entertainment streams of different corporations much as you subscribe to different channels on TV? And your connection would include strict anti-filesharing measures.

  16. “they estimate that this number will go up to 150,000 users/day shortly. ISPs that are not able to turn over 150,000 personal identities per day face a fine of €1,500 per accused infringer.”

    To quote my dear departed uncle, “Now yez are in a helluva mess!”

    I can’t wait until politician’s IP addresses start showing up in the mix.

  17. *sigh*

    The copyright holders will not go after anyone important, or if they do, when they find out who they are going after, the “charges” (or whatever you want to call this) will be dropped.

    It is so sad to see humanity advanced so far by so few, and understood by not so many. I am not talking about just computers, either…

    /almost wish I was my grandfather, who was born in 1893 and died in 1982 – he saw us go from horse and buggy to space shuttle

  18. Quoi! Des cohortes étrangères
    Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
    Quoi! Ces phalanges mercenaires
    Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers!
    Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées
    Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
    De vils despotes deviendraient
    Les maîtres de nos destinées!

  19. Next step in destroying this law (or destroying France, whichever comes first): build file sharing proxies so they all route to french IPs. Massively increase the number of infringements apparently occurring in France, make it impossible for ISPs to comply (because none of their customers actually did the file sharing), make it riddled with false positives, and the outcry will be even larger than it will already be on its own. Send the price of internet access through the roof, discredit the Sarkozy administration, make it political suicide to veer from sensible intellectual property law for a generation at least.

    It’s inevitable that this law will be a disaster that fails to impact sharing anyway, but really, anything we can do to make it clear what a bunch of sinister fucks we’re dealing with a little faster can only be a good thing.

  20. At that rate it would take 415 days for the total to equal the population of France.

    So, either everyone in France will have their internet shut off in a little over a year, or that number per day will taper off.

  21. At 1,500 Euros per dropped request, it’s OF COURSE in the best interest of the music industry to flood the system. Forget about the three strikes – this is a lawyer DDoS attack on ISPs. Easy money!

  22. According to a leaked report from the French privacy commissioner, due to the high volume of cases, they won’t be checked for accuracy by Hadopi before issuing an infringement notice.

    The report says that “due to the high number of expected cases (25 000 a day at first, then 150 000 a day), it is impossible for the [right holders’ agents] to check the [infringement] reports one by one. Nonetheless, the system does not have particular control procedures, for instance by sampling, which would allow an agent to detect anomalies in a collection session”.

    It says that “the actions of the Hadopi will be limited to accepting or denying the transmitted findings, without the ability to check them. The first steps of the “three strikes” process will therefore lay only upon the collection operated by the TMG system”.

    What this is saying is that despite the fact that you can be kicked off the internet based solely on accusations, not convictions, and despite all of the problems with false accusations and the fact that an IP address alone does not accurately identify an individual, and despite the fact that the massive number of notices being sent out mean that there will surely be false positives, the only people reviewing these notices to make sure they’re accurate will be employed by the agent hired by the copyright holders themselves. Due process? It’s dead.

  23. I’m kinda hoping that they go ahead with this. The backlash should be sufficient to put a stop to any further bribes being accepted by governments to repeat this stupidity.

    (ObSanity: even if you “reduce piracy”, they still won’t make any more money. Why? The amount that people are willing to spend on entertainment in any given week is more or less fixed. Preventing a person from receiving free entertainment does not result in them getting paid more. They might buy different things, but despite all the claims of the media industry, they aren’t going to start spending more)

  24. What kind of effect will losing these internet users have on French web based businesses and web advertising? They’re definitely shooting themselves in the foot.

  25. Here in france, we are suffering from the most stupidest, corrupt and incompetent governement in many decades. You think there must be something they are good at, think again… What was barely working (economy, justice, freedom, education) they are breaking. The “new” ideas from the Sarkosy team are all childish, repressive and racist. This country was never perfect, but we are diving to the bottom… The “Hadopi” thing and the “3 strikes” stupidity is just one of the tinyest many snakes we are eating day after day. I shudder when i think someone like Sarkosy has control other nuclear weapons. If you have seen “idiocracy”, we are going that way, full steam on. No good… I know, i speak here for myself, and others may view this trainwreck differently, but i needed to say it loud. Returning his immortal words to our blingbling pres, i say: casse-toi pauvre con!

  26. Hey people, they don´t care about piracy, it´s not about entertainment industry loosing money, which they are not, by the way. Open your eyes, they are moving mountains to control the internet, just look above the trees and you will see.

  27. This is a very ‘French thing’. A history of sordid government that has a problem with you, the citizen, having information.. and access to information technology, but totally anal about collating and cataloguing what the public are up to.

    Don’t worry, the French legal system is bloated and obscenely complex, there’ll be more than a few ambulance chasers interested in defending victims of this legislation. For the right fee, of course..

  28. Willfully sabotaging a country’s economy for the sole benefit of the decadent leadership?

    I can see a sixth republic coming soon

    1. I suppose it is particularly cheeky to be doing this in a country that used to behead people for this sort of aristocratic crap, now isn’t it?

  29. Population of France, 65,073,482 divided by 150,000 = 433.8 days until everyone in France is reported once. In apx. three years everyone will be banned from the internet for one year. This will mean 1/3 of the population of the country will be on a 1 year ban every three years, reducing the French Internet market by 10,845,580/year. But I forgot, households are banned, so multiply that buy the average people/house, say 4 = 43,382,320, or apx. 2/3 of the population of the country.

    Good luck with that.

    1. Oh, and there are more than 1 ISP reporting, so France is no longer on the internet, starting Tuesday. :)

  30. I’m French and here is the latest info we have,

    Smart move from one ISP (www_free_fr), the IP address he was forced to collect and send to the authority was done on printed paper!
    So they need to type it back by hand on reception….
    just to slow down the process a bit,

    66 million ip address by hand that could cost a fortune (with French social labor protective law)…

    here is the main article in French


  31. in the name of symmetry I propose that everytime a copyright company has THREE accusations that are proved baseless THEY be banned from asking for names from the ISP’s for a year.

    What say?

  32. It won’t be long before every internet user is banned for a year and ISP’s have no customers.

    I know of not one user who has downloaded copyrighted material at some stage

  33. The ISPs will probably have to automate the request process to handle that kind of load. At which point the media companies can request the personal information of IPs in real time.

    I see marketing companies becoming very cosy with media companies… after all the media companies will know (at least within a certain time period) the name of the person on a particular IP address (and other possible contact details).

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