France's Hadopi finally punishes someone for infringement -- a guy whom everyone agrees isn't an infringer

The French Hadopi agency has prosecuted its first user under the country's insane anti-piracy laws, which provide for disconnection of whole families from the Internet if someone using their connection is accused of multiple acts of file-sharing. The first person to be convicted is a 40-year-old man whose ex-wife admitted to downloading some songs on his connection. The law ascribes blame for infringement to the person with the Internet account, not the person who infringes, so he is paying the €150 fine. He will not have his Internet connection taken away.


  1. George: They can’t convict a husband and wife for the same crime! 
    Michael: Yeah, that’s not true. At all. 
    George: …I have the worst f—ing attorneys.

  2. These “you’re responsible for what happens on your internet connection, even if the actual guilty party has stepped forwards” laws don’t go nearly far enough. How about:

    • You get caught drunk driving, but you borrowed your friend’s car, so they get their licence suspended and criminal charges brought against them.

    • You get caught robbing a bank, so the bank manager gets arrested.

    • You get caught committing any crime on public property, the chief of police is prosecuted.

    • You get caught committing any crime in France and the prime minister and his entire cabinet are sent to the guillotine.

    The world will be safe soon enough.

    1. The first one has almost certainly happened somewhere. It just fits the profile of many “justice” systems perfectly. Somebody has to be penalized.

      1. I remember something like this:

        Guy gets busted for drunk driving. Cop decides to be nice and say if someone can come drive his car home he will let him go without arrest. Friend comes, drives friend home or toward home and at some point gives the keys back to the drunk guy, who then drives and kills some people and himself, I think. 

  3. Living off the grid is so difficult for so many now that the threat of losing access to it is digitally akin to throwing a person outside the city gates into the wilderness to forage. 

    One who can’t live outside of it would certainly pay any amount to avoid that fate – hence the extortion possibilities for cash strapped governments. Pay for the privilege of your own surveillance!

  4. “a guy whom anyone agrees isn’t an infringer” – shouldn’t it be “who”, not “whom”? “Guy” is a subject of “guy isn’t an infringer”.

  5. I am outraged! Only 150 euro for the infringement?!  That’s pocket change…France should be more strict like the US and ask 15,000+ per infringement. We need to teach these freeloaders that crime doesn’t pay!

    1. But that’d take the estimate of revenue lost to the content owner from trillions into the quadrillions. Not to mention the job losses into the millions.

      You wouldn’t happen to work for the MPAA would you?

      1. Of course not. I work for creative america and strive to make as much money as possible for our exec…I mean artists as possible.


        I was honestly surprised that the fine was only 150 based on all the ridiculous rulings in the US. 8m not saying that 150 is acceptable. I would prefer the whole hadopi thing to disappear. Like an above poster had said only 70000 more convictions of innocent people to break even…

        1. Maybe it’s low because los poderosos realise most people will be able to afford ‘small’ fines. If the fine’s too big then the state – i.e. the taxpayers – will just end up paying it on the transgressor’s behalf.

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