France: Three strikes law debated by the General Assembly

By EDRi · March 25, 2009

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Deutsch: [Frankreich: 3 Treffer-Gesetz von der Generalversammlung diskutiert |]

The debates on the French three strikes law (so called Hadopi law) started
on 11 March 2009 in the General Assembly only to be suspended at the end of
the second day, to be continued on 31 March.

While the law was adopted by the Senate in less than a day, it appears the
deputies will need a much longer time for the debates. Several deputies have
shown their opposition to the project considering it as a mechanism to
suppress rights and liberties, a “legal monster” as deputy Patrick Bloche
expressed himself.

However, several amendments to the law were rejected during these two days.
Besides the debates related to the financial costs incurred by the creation
of Hadopi authority, many discussions referred to the respect of the right
to defence raised by the graduated response. At the request of
the Minister of Culture and some rapporteurs, the deputies rejected the
amendment stipulating that “the right to an equitable procedure must be
observed in all cases by the High Authority” and that “attached to this
fundamental principles are the audi alteram partem right, the right of
defence, the presumption of innocence and imputability rights”.

The deputies also rejected the modified version of the global licence
despite the arguments brought by the opponents of the graduate response.
Didier Mathus brought the argument of the revenue showing that with a 2
euro/month contribution from the Internet users, 400 millions euro would go
to the music industry while the three strikes system would bring nothing.
Jean Dionis du Séjour’s proposal of an extended collective licence
for the commercial platforms wishing to have access to the catalogues of the
record companies was also rejected as well as the amendment introduced by
the majority deputy Suguenot that referred to a tax on all advertising
revenue from the web, in favour of performers.

Another rejected amendment requested a report to be submitted to the
Parliament before 31 October 2009 for the implementation of a fund for music
creation. The financing of the fund should be included as a part of the tax
payed by operators of electronic communications.

So, basically, Christine Albanel succeeded in influencing the votes of the
deputies in many of the issues under the debate. She also reaffirmed her
intention to continue to defend the draft law.

However, there is still some time before the debates are resumed which could
be used to try and influence the final result.

La Quadrature du Net has launched an initiative in this sense meant to make
all deputies aware of the consequences of their position regarding the
Hadopi law. The “Memoire Politique” (Political Memory) is a wiki including
all texts and comments of the deputies that will allow the citizens to
verify the position of each deputy in various national and european legal

La Quadrature du Net team, has decided to thus improve the democratic
information and to “concretely apply the fundamental principle of the
representative democracy” by the Memoire Politique”.

The Memoire Politique will collect the declarations and positions of the
deputies during the sessions on Hadopi law, also providing their assessment.
This will give the citizens the possibility to verify whether the deputies
they elected really represent their interests. This will also help in
providing the citizens with the counter-arguments that they may present to
their deputies in requiring the refusal of amendments that may affect their

Internet and Creation Law (day 2): suspended until 31 March… minimum (only
in French, 13.03.2009)

Hadopi (day 2) : the deputies rejected the global licence – version 2009
(only in French, 12.03.2009)

Hadopi (day 1): The right wing divided by the suspension of the access to
Internet (only in French, 12.03.2009)

Hadopi : National Assembly massively rejects the exception of
non-admisability (only in French, 11.03.2009)

La Quadrature du Net sets up the Mémoire Politique (only in French,

Mémoire Politique

Hadopi amendements – National Assembly

EDRI-gram: HADOPI law close of creating a dangerous precedent (25.02.2009)