HADOPI law close of creating a dangerous precedent

By EDRi · February 25, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [HADOPI-Gesetz schafft beinahe einen gefährlichen Präzedenzfall | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1309]

This article is also available in:
Macedonian: [Законот HADOPI близу до креирање на опасен преседан | http://www.metamorphosis.org.mk/content/view/1395/4/lang,mk/]

On 18 February 2009, Christine Albanel, French Minister of Culture,
presented to the Chamber of Deputies the controversial Création et Internet
draft law (so called Hadopi law) calling for the creation of a
government agency to manage the graduated response (or three-strike)

The law which was passed by the Senate in October 2008 was discussed by the
deputies in the legal commissions with amendments to be presented during the
debates starting on 4 March. As previously during the long discussions
having taken place for some years now, during the debates in the legal
commissions, any amendment proposed in the direction of a global license,
such as the “creative contribution” proposed by the socialist Patrick Bloche
was rejected. The proposed mechanism would have implied a fee paid by the
Internet subscribers to their ISP for legal downloading of copyrighted
material. The fees collected could be used to remunerate artists for their
work. “With a universal licence, the money recuperated will not uniquely go
into the pockets of the producers, which is definitely the case now. Today,
artists’ royalty payments are significantly less, while the (media
companies’) royalty payments are considerably more,” said Bloche.

According to Nicolas Maubert, an attorney with law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel,
if voted in the present form, the law might still be challenged by France’s
judicial body. Blocking Internet access as a sanction might breach
constitutional protections guaranteed by the French Constitutional body
(Conseil Constitutionnel) said Maubert, who added that a graduated response
initiative is not a necessarily a bad thing in itself:
“It still seems legitimate to question whether blocking the access to the
internet is indeed a ‘proportionate measure.’ Especially these days, just
imagine yourself without access to the internet, with no e-mails, no

In the meantime, as a positive balance, according to reports from the
European Parliament, the also very controversial Medina report containing a
range of measures in support of copyright enforcement, including increased
liability for ISPs, secondary liability for peer-to-peer sites and graduated
response, has been postponed and apparently even removed from the European
Parliament’s agenda.

Having in view the very strong opposition reaction from citizens all over
Europe, it appears the socialist group in the European Parliament blocked
the report for fear of losing votes at the next elections. If the Medina
report had been pushed to the plenary, it would have also created a problem
for the Telecoms Package.The Parliament miight not have passed it,
supporting Amendment 138 which is against graduate response.

“Thousands of emails and phone calls from concerned citizens reached the
parliament. The outcome proves that informed citizens can altogether become
stronger than a small obscurantist industry pressure group. We must
consolidate this victory by guaranteeing, through the second reading of the
Telecoms Package, that Internet remains the most fantastic advance for our
societies since the invention of the printing press.”declared Jérémie
Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

Antipiracy Law: “the creative contribution” of the Socialist Party rejected
(only in French, 20.02.2009)

French Legislature Puts Finishing Touches On Ambitious File-Sharing Law

Medina report indefinitely abandoned (22.02.2009)

Copyright dogmatism temporarily kicked out of European Parliament

Christine Albanel defends the antipiracy law in front of the deputies (only
in French, 18.02.2009)

EDRi-gram: One more step for France in adopting the graduated response