One more step for France in adopting the graduated response

By EDRi · November 5, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Despite all opposition and debates, on 30 October 2008, a crushing majority
of the French Senate voted in favour of the anti-piracy law, the so called
Hadopi law, introducing the graduate response against illegal content

The law enabling the introduction of three-strikes measure against
file-sharers and Internet users comes now in contradiction with the European
Parliament’s opinion which called on the European Commission and all member
states to “avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and
human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness, and
dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access.”

Regarding the French Senate’s vote, Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of La
Quadrature du Net said: “Inconsistencies, lies, confusion and insults which
the creative industries habitually use to blame their clients served as
justification for a hurried vote, which ignored the wider public debate
which is taking place in France and in Europe.”

According to the modified law voted by the Senate, if an illegal downloading
case is reported by an authorised body (industry associations, CNC,
professional bodies), Hadopi, the body created especially for this purpose,
will send the infringer a warning e-mail. If the infringement is repeated in
6-month time, a new e-mail is sent together with a warning by registered
letter. In case in the next year the infringement is
repeated, the Internet user in cause is penalised according to the gravity
of the act. The sanction can be the denial of Internet access ranging from
one month (duration decreased by the senators from 3 months as initially in
the draft law) to a year during which time the Internet user continues to
pay the access subscription and is included on a black list that forbids him
(her) to subscribe to any other operator.

Bruno Retailleau, a Senate member who voted against the legislation, argued
that a full cut off of the Internet access is too severe a punishment as
Internet access is essential to modern homes. In his opinion, cutting off
households might even be considered discriminatory, as Internet access is
usually tied to a cable line or phone service.

In case the French National Assembly (the second chamber of the Parliament)
also votes in favour of the Hadopi law and the law becomes effective next
year, the French government will be at odds with the European Parliament
being in direct contradiction with Amendment 138 to the Telecoms Package,
voted on 24 September which explicitly states that only the judicial
authority can impose restrictions on citizens’ fundamental rights and

The European Parliament clearly expressed the opposition against the cutting
off of Internet users’ access, wishing “a balance between the interests of
rights holders and those of consumers”, and considering that “that big
measures like cutting off Internet access shouldn’t be used.”

On the other hand, minister Albanel seems confident in the removal of
Amendment 138 of the Telecom Package by the European Council having in view
the pressure France is putting on the Commission and the Council.

Illegal downloading: the graduate response reviewed and corrected by the
Senate (only in French, 1.11.2008)

“Three strikes” P2P rule inches closer to law in France (2.11.2008)

“Graduated response” – Will France disconnect Europe? (1.11.2008)

EDRi-gram: French law on ‘graduate response’ opposed by ISOC Europe