France: Increased powers for Hadopi authority

By EDRi · February 9, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Frankreich: Hadopi erhält weitere Befugnisse |]

The Hadopi law continues to develop as the French Government pushes last
minute amendments to be passed by the Parliament.

Thus, the French National Assembly adopted on 1 February 2011, late at
night, an amendment filed at the last moment by the Government, that would
allow French three strikes authority (Hadopi) to pay private-sector
companies for carrying out online surveillance and filtering.

Amendment 151 to the draft Law on Simplifying and Improving the Quality of
Laws extends Hadopi powers to “provide support for innovative research
and experimentation projects by state or privately-owned entities that would
assist the Authority in fulfilling its mission (…)”, meaning that the
authority would have the freedom to subsidise private entities for “the
development of the legal offer and the observation of legal and illegal use
of works”.

Although it was passed in a rush and late at night, the amendment did not go
unnoticed. The legal commission of the General Assembly showed concerns
regarding the constitutionality of the amendment stating it had no time to
examine it and asked for its withdrawal. Deputy Alain Vidalies warned that
the opposition would take the issue to the Constitutional Court, considering
the amendment as a “legislative knight” (a text which has actually no
relation to the text examined).

Another draft decree related to Hadopi was on CNIL’s agenda on 20 January
2011 and is now to be examined by the State Council. The decree, already
modified once in October 2010, introduces means to interconnect ISPs’
subscriber files with infringement information received by the Hadopi
authority and makes electronic transmissions of all files from Hadopi to

This modification fulfils Hadopi’s wish to manage all three strikes
processes up to the courts by information systems, as the authority
stated in November 2010: “Actually, the information system manages the first
pedagogical phases of the graduate response procedure (…) It must be
completed to manage the next exchange phase with the prosecutor offices and
jurisdictions, for which a decree of the Culture Minister is to be published
next month.”

The current procedure is that the files are verified first by the Commission
for the Protection of Rights (CPD) before being sent to the prosecutor.
However, the president of CPD stated in an interview at the end of 2010 that
he supported the idea that the “negligent infraction” can be verified by the
repeated offence and therefore, no additional evidence is necessary. “If the
subscriber has not changed his behaviour after three offences, he has
therefore not placed any security measure (…) the consequences of your
actions are those that prove the infringement “, said CPD President.

The transmission of Hadopi files to the prosecutor offices is already
covered by a procedural decree of July 2010 which says that the files are
sent “to the prosecutor of the Republic attached to the competent high

The idea is to make these transmissions electronic and to allow the
courts to send their decisions electronically. Hadopi wants to make certain
that a decision to suspend a subscriber’s Internet access is applied. The
authority also wants to be sure the subscriber cannot use another ISP during
the suspension period.

Hadopi law modified in the middle of the night to finance private actors!
(only in French, 2.02.2011)

À lire sur Numerama : La loi Hadopi modifiée en pleine nuit pour financer des acteurs privés !

Hadopi: a legislative knight voted at night by the Assembly (only in
French, 4.02.2011)

Hadopi: towards a decree for electronic transmission to prosecutor’s
offices (only in French, 1.02.2011)

À lire sur Numerama : Hadopi : vers un décret pour la transmission informatisée aux parquets

Hadopi wants to make electronic the graduate response phase (only in French,

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