First warning letters sent by French ISPs under the three strikes system

By EDRi · October 6, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Französiche ISPs versenden erste Verwarnungen gemäß Three-Strikes-Regime |]

On 1 October 2010, Bouygues Telecom and Numéricable were the
first French ISPs to send warning emails to suspected illegal file-sharers,
on behalf of Hadopi authority. According the media reports several hunderds
warning emails have been send in these first days.

After this first message, the Internet user deemed to have allegedly
continued to illegally download copyrighted content in the following six
months, will receive a second warning by a registered letter. The third
alleged infringement may be penalised by a fine and the suspension of the
user’s subscription up to a year without the possibility to make another
subscription during that period.

This is how the warning letter begins: “Attention, your Internet connection
has been used to commit acts that could constitute a breach of the law,”
adding that piracy “is a serious threat to the economy of the cultural

Orange and SFR were supposed to send their first e-mails on 4 October but
there has been no communication from them until now, while Free has already
stated it would not send the e-mails, pending an answer from the Ministry of
Culture and Hadopi on its alternative method for dealing with customers,
taking the privacy concerns of the French Data Protection Authority – CNIL
into account.

The French authority on implementing the three strikes law also launched on
1 October 2010 its official website,, which includes news, a
presentation of the authority, information on “responsible usage”, a forum
for questions and other types of information such as the action to take in
case of receiving a warning message from the authority.

During a press conference that took place on 5 October 2010, Hadopi
representatives did not want to comment on the launch of the warning
messages. The only comment that Hadopi president Marie-Françoise Marais made
was that the three-strikes process was going on.

She also added that while the dialogue with the ISP Free was in progress,
Free’s lack of cooperation would reflect on its users because they would not
receive an initial email warning in the event of copyright infringement but
they would receive a registered letter (the second stage) in case of
repeated infringement.

While the site has brought about a lot of sarcastic comments,
Numerama launched site, a tool that will should allow the
supervision of Hadopi’s activity considering that transparency is not a
strong point of the regulator.

Internet users having received a warning message may anonymously place
information on regarding the date they received the warning,
the date of the alleged infringement act, the type of works in question and
their postal code. This last piece of information can be used to check out
whether there is any geographic targeting by Hadopi.

Based on the data input, Numerama intends to create graphs on the ISPs that
send the e-mails to their subscribers, on categories of works that generate
the most numerous warnings and on Hadopi’s activity in time. The ammount of
data will therefore be vital in order to have a clear overview of the

La Quadrature du Net has also launched a citizen initiative trying to find
the first French Internet user to receive an e-mail initiated by Hadopi.

Threatened by attacks, opens its doors (only in French, 1.10.2010) :let’s check together Hadopi’s activity (only in French,

Hadopi : the first e-mails at Bouygues, SFR, Orange and Numericable? (only
in French, 4.10.2010)

Hadopi. The first warnings sent (only in French, 5.10.2010)

First Anti-Piracy Warnings Issued In France (5.10.2010)