French Internet users on the verge of being disconnected

By EDRi · October 5, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Französischen Internet-Usern drohen Netzsperren |]

The French authority in charge with fighting copyright infringement, Hadopi,
presented on 29 September 2011 its first activity report covering 18 months,
beginning of 2010 until June 2011.

According to the report, since the beginning of its activity, the first
warning stage of the graduated response system covered 650 000 cases. Out of
these 44 000 second-stage warnings were sent to Internet users that
allegedly continued to reproduce or distribute works online.

According to Mireille Imbert-Quaretta, president of the Commission for the
Protection of Rights within Hadopi, about sixty cases of Internet users are
now under examination for the third phase. Following the analysis, some of
these cases could be sent to the prosecutors and the respective users may
face a 1500 euro fine and the disconnection of their Internet access.

The system however has proven to be rather unreliable. As Trident Media
Guard, the traffic analyst provider chosen to trace IPs of illegal
downloaders, has been proven faulty being hacked in May 2011, Hadopi has
nominated an expert to audit TMG’s system of tracing addresses.

The report reveals Hadopi’s interest in studying streaming and direct
downloading and quantifying the legal/illegal content proportion on certain
platforms which could, in time, lead to the blocking of these platforms by

According to Hadopi President Marie-Françoise Marais and its Secretary
General Eric Walter, Hadopi intends to identify sites that are clearly meant
for illegal downloading and would like to extend its powers to go beyond
simple exchanges on P2P networks.

“Hadopi has engaged into research works that would allow a quantitative
approach of these phenomena (streaming, direct downloading), and hopes to be
able to publish its first results before its second activity report” states
Eric Walter.

So, not only will Hadopi continue to chase downloaders but it will push for
an extension of its powers, all the time stating its main role is a
pedagogical one, a “think tank of the Internet.”

Hadopi: about sixty Internet users subject to disconnection (only in
French, 29.09.2011)

Hadopi reviews eighteen months of eventful activity (only in French,

Hadopi wants to identify the sites “obviously destined” to pirating (only in
French, 29.09.2011)

Hadopi establishing a meeting in June 2012 (only in French, 29.09.2011)

French “three strikes” anti-piracy software riddled with flaws (25.05.2011)