French ISPs agree to spy on Internet users to stop online piracy

By EDRi · October 10, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The Association of the French ISPs (AFA) agreed to propose concrete
solutions to stop illegal downloading, following the discussion on 3 October
2007 with the Commission fighting Internet piracy led by Denis
Olivennes. The solutions included the introduction of a system to detect the
Internet users that illegally post copyrighted contents on the Internet.

On 5 September 2007, this French Commission received its formal mission from
the French government to find ways of combating illegal downloads on the
Internet and thus support the legal cinema and music offer. By taking the
decision to create this mission, the French government wanted to show its
determination to take initiatives against online piracy and support the
cultural industry. “The idea that everything is possible must come to an
end. We cannot let the idea that culture must be free of charge and that
creation (…) has no price, therefore no value” stated Christine Albanel,
Minister of Culture. On that occasion she also suggested to offer Internet
users an alternative like that of the offer of limited music downloading
made by Neuf Cegetel in partnership with Universal. Denis Olivennes,
President-Director General of FNAC, the largest French retailer of cultural
and consumer electronics products, was appointed president of this
Commission (called Olivennes mission).

The Commission led by Olivennes is to consider issues such as price,
interoperability, DRM and any aspects that can favour legal downloading. As
the issue of contraventions for illegal downloading was eliminated from the
copyright law (DADVSI), the Olivennes mission has also the task to come up
with tools and measures to address this subject.
One topic that was excluded for the mission was that of the global licence
considered dangerous by the Minister of Culture and to which President
Nicolas Sarkozy promised to oppose during his election campaign.

During the meeting with the Commission, AFA suggested the introduction of a
system to detect the Internet users that illegally post copyrighted contents
on the Internet, such as music or movies, based on “radar” robot
computers that would react as if their users wanted to download content on
P2P networks. The system would use different ISP accounts and
dynamic addresses in order to keep anonymous. The Association did not
however want to monitor the system suggesting that it should be placed
outside the ISPs networks. The system “must be administered by a police
authority as it touches questions of individual liberty” stated Dahlia
Kownator, AFA general delegate .On the other hand the association opposed
to any type of content filtering which is considered an inefficient tool,
especially as regards the encrypted transmission .

Another suggestion made by the AFA was that warning messages could
be sent to Internet users by a public authority as it was done in the US.
AFA also agreed to contraventions as a last measure, but with the parallel
development of legal opportunities to buy content on the Internet.

The idea of contraventions is favoured however by the National Union of the
Phonographic that hopes the idea will be resumed. Not surprisingly its
General Director, Hervé Rony considers there is the need of rapid sanctions
for the Internet user who makes illegal downloads. He believes that there
should be a legal way to fine such downloading, something similar to a fine
for speeding.

ISPs favourable to anti-pirates “radars” (only in French, 5.10.2007)

The government reopen the illegal downloading file (only in French,