France pushes for ISPs' involvement in fighting illegal file sharing

By EDRi · July 30, 2008

Christine Albanel, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, has
gathered her European homologues for an informal meeting in Versailles on 21
and 22 July 2008 in an attempt to push the French Hadopi law model to be
embraced by Europe.

Some of the main issues approached during the meeting were piracy,
telecommunications reform, the European Heritage Label project and the
illegal trafficking of culturally significant objects. Much of the
discussions at the meeting turned around copyright and illegal file sharing
over the Internet. Without being discouraged by the very large opposition to
the Creation and Internet draft law (so called Hadopi law), the French
Minister took again the opportunity to offer Europe the French system as its
contribution to the EU Telecommunication Package.

Albanel expressed her concern on the lack of consistency and harmonization
of the methods to fight illegal file sharing at the European level: “The
fight against pirating music, audiovisual and cinema works has imposed
itself in our debates as stakes of prime importance. (…) It is indubitably
a complex and delicate issue the solution of which will not reside on a
single category of player but, on the contrary, on an increased cooperation
between various involved parties.”

The Minister continued to underline the importance of the ISPs in the fight
against illegal file sharing: “the Internet access providers and the
telecom operators have to play an active role – as some of them do
individually or within the framework of inter-professional agreements -, in
making their subscribers aware and systematically supplying them with
information” referring here to the gradual response system proposed by the
French law which will oblige the operators and ISPs to send warning messages
issued by the High Authority for work dissemination and protection of
copyright (HADOPI). The text of the draft law is still facing opposition
from EPs, ISPs and consumer associations.

Ministers at the meeting agreed on the “need to inform” society of the
consequences of Internet piracy and underlined the need to maintain the
balance between economic constraints and public-interest objectives.
Commissioner Viviane Reding proposed that ISPs be obliged to inform clients
on the legislation related to copyright and the “consequences of
piracy” when signing a contract.

Some “anti-piracy” measures might appear in the Telecom Package that will be
debated by the European Parliament on 22 September 2008. Also this Autumn,
the French Senate will make the first reading for the Hadopi law.

In the meantime, the UK Government has issued for public consultation
a document on the legislative options to address illicit P2P file-sharing.
(see the Recommended Action section in this EDRi-gram).

Main results of the informal meeting of Ministers for Culture and
Audiovisual Affairs – Versailles, 21-22 July 2008;jsessionid=15E08D403A01319B9AD918EDDA626E8C

Internet Piracy: the providers must inform their clients (only in French,

Piracy: Bruxelles wants to inform, Paris wants an active role of ISPs
(only in French, 24.07.2008)

Hadopi law: the ISPs show their mistrust (only in French, 25.06.2008)

Hadopi: is it for ISPs to educate Internet users? (only in French,

Piracy: Christine Albanel gives a lecture to her European colleagues
(only in French, 23.07.2008),39020774,39382432,00.htm

EDRIgram – France promotes the three-strike scheme in Europe (2.07.2008)