back to article France gets closer to 'three strikes' downloader web ban

The globalisation of internet law continues apace, as French legislators press ahead next week with the "loi Hadopi". The purpose of this proposed law is twofold: to clamp down on internet piracy, and to shift the responsibility for this clampdown firmly on to the shoulders of ISPs. Any similarities between this proposal, and …


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  1. Dam
    Dead Vulture



    First, piracy doesn't make companies lose sales.

    I wanted a demo of Supreme Commander, couldn't find one that would download at a decent speed (I mean hey, 100kbs for 2gb ? dream on) so I grabbed the full version from newsgroups.

    I now have the retail version sitting in my house.

    I wanted a demo of The Witcher, couldn't find one that would download at a decent speed (TWENTY KILOBYTES ?) so I grabbed the full version from newsgroups.

    I now have the collector edition sitting in my house.

    I wanted a demo of Assassin's Creed, couldn't find one that would download at a decent speed (wtf only 200kbs?) so I grabbed the full version from newsgroups.

    I now have the box sitting in my house.

    What's more, a downloaded game doesn't equate to a lost sale.

    I played the demo of french hack and slash Loki and it only featured one character class out of the 4, which I didn't like.

    I somehow acquired the game and it didn't appeal at all, so no, no sale for you.

    Did I mention my PSP runs a custom firmware and I mostly play my old GBA games on it ?

    Or my girlfriend's NDS which has a linker to play ROMs and yet we must have 4 of them so far ?

    Or my Wii which has been modchipped for over 4 months and has only seen 1 downloaded game, one that's not released in Europe ?

    Piracy ? Looks like a good sales booster to me.

    Hell a week ago I wanted to buy a single song on the interweb and couldn't find a decent service without DRM.

    So I grabbed Audacity (GPL = win!) and ripped the song away, it falls into fair use anyway.

    Now let's talk about DPI.

    They're gonna use DPI right ?

    How are they to differentiate *legal* and *illegal* copyrighted contents ?

    Surely it's all bits in the end ?

    What about password protected archives ?

    SSL usenet ?

    Or perhaps I'm downloading from a dedicated server in sweden (try guys) and thus not committing an offense in France ?

    This is plain ridiculous, all the more since the report on the effects of piracy has been established by FNAC which is far from neutral.

    Even if their DPI crap were to work (hey guess who's gonna pay the price for all this expensive and ineffective DPI hardware ? consumers ?), that won't prevent people from trading DVDs like we did floppies.

    Ah well, at least the report does ask for the end of DRM so something good *might* come out of it.


    A french guy that bothered to read all of the report and found it very biased.

  2. Matthew Wilkes

    Fair Use

    "So I grabbed Audacity (GPL = win!) and ripped the song away, it falls into fair use anyway."

    No, it doesn't. Firstly, to anyone else reading this, there is no doctrine of fair use in the UK, that's US law.

    Secondly, taking an entire artistic work for personal use is absolutely not fair use. If you were taking a 15 second sample, yeah.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Let's try this the other way around...

    "An independent administrative body charged with preventing and penalising piracy", indeed. In other words, an unelected and unaccountable body is given the authority to completely sidestep existing civil law. OK, so media companies sometimes find it difficult and/or financially unrewarding to sue individuals who download the odd copyright item here and there. THIS IS BY DESIGN. The process of sueing someone is lengthy and expensive, but it's fair(-ish) in that it works both ways. Yes, it usually prevents me from sueing companies for having made misleading claims about products that I've bought and haven't lived up to expectation, but it also prevents them for sueing me when I slag them off to all my friends and tell them never to buy anything from that company again.

    Now, things have changed and the system is put completely out of balance. The pigopolists get someone else to do their dirty work for them and fast-track generally law-abiding citizens back into the paper age, but we still have to go to the courts when we want to challenge the pigopolists on something. To make things fair, let's have a similar body to look after consumers' interests. This is how it would work in a sample case. Say, for instance, that I had bought a Sony-label CD from FNAC, and Sony's hidden DRM rootkits my PC. So, I tell the enforcement body, and they say I can just go down to FNAC and grab a PS3 in recompense. There. Ridiculous? Unworkable? Unacceptable? Sounds no different to what's being proposed in France, only with the sabot firmly on the other pied.

  4. Dam

    Re: Fair use

    First, UK law doesn't apply in France, thankfully.

    Second, ripping an audio track from a movie I bought definitely qualifies for fair use.

  5. Dam

    Re: Fair use

    I almost forgot, thanks for bothering to read the wall of text :p

  6. Alfazed

    Such silly silly people

    When are these twats gonna come to life ?

    Never !

    By the way thanx Dam, copy paste print etc....

    So is someone going to point out, each and every time, to each one of my three teenage daughters, when they are about to download a current song fromt t'internet, that they do not own the copyright and so they can't have it ?

    I can imagine what will happen after about only three days, they will stop using the internet and I'll be able to cancel my subscription to PhormaMediaVirgin. Fuck off !

    OK, so no one tells my girls that they can't do it, they go ahead and do what they have been doing for years. Next I get a letter saying, Oi! you ! Stop doing that or I'll stop your tap.

    I can ignore and they'll stop me tap. Yahfuckingoo !


    I'll cancel my subscription and turn off the tap myself. Yahfuckinghoo !

    So, no CDs purchased here then as we don't know who's got stuff for sale, (no Phorm you see). A dwindling number of broadband subscribers in the UK over the next twelve months and a tail off in the take up of new mobile phones with mega memory that no fucker has a use for.

    Well done ! Three strikes and out indeed. Is anyone even counting ?

    ALF. PS Thanks again Dam, have circulated your comments.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Beg to differ. A bit.

    "If this proposal becomes law, it will inevitably mean an increase in the total cost of internet service. French ISPs will be spending time and taxpayers’ money enforcing copyright on their networks. They will be using expensive deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor traffic on their networks and look for copyrighted content."

    I wouldn't be sure of that. The french ISP thing for analysing traffic (whatever it means, QOS, filtering, eavesdroping) is in fact those dreaded fryboxes, named like this because any +- 20V in the power outlet is a sure kill to them. The ISPs wont't pay for more central products just because of yet another Sarkozy law, just pretend they're doing something, since it's all that counts in Sarkoland, remember. And anyway, what's the chances of France Telecom to even boot one DPI equipment properly ???

    In the UK, your conclusions would stand, but not in France.

    Thus, any monitoring will happen at the customers, at no cost, almost. Who, in the Sarkoshow, will notice it's not efficient ?

    "Critics point out that the most likely outcome will be a large number of mostly law-abiding citizens caught up in the Hadopi net – and real pirates continuing to evade the law."

    Indeed, because Joe Average Customer will be reported by his frybox, while Bad Guy will be running with a router of the market, dodging the reporting. And within 5 years, the body rulling all of that will notice a posteriori a big surge in router sales when the law was passed and will be at a loss to explain this :-)

    Another day, another inefficient law in Sarkoland, with loads of spin, glasses, swiss watches, and as much effect as a mouse fart. 4 years to go, though ...

    A french bloke. With a router.

  8. Someone

    Not Ofpirate

    It will be the Accused of Piracy Ombudsman, who may occasionally reverse the most egregious abuses of an ISP’s power. But, I’m sure this new Ombudsman will expect the innocent former Internet user to spend many weeks communicating with their former ISP, in a vain attempt to convince the ISP of their innocence, before finally being prepared to consider that former Internet user’s plight.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Fair Use

    I don't know what is "fair use" in the US, but in France, it was considered as "fair use" to copy something for your own usage, i.e. you don't sell it: you buy a LP and you copy it on a cassette to read it in your car, which was translated in the 21st century as you buy an CD and you can make a copy or ripping it on your own MP3 player. It was OK until you don't sell the copy. I'm affraid this will disappear with that new law.

    @ Paul: an independant body in France is elected by proxies, meaning it is choosen by the president and/or the MP, and you vote for them (well at least the majority has).

  10. Simon Neill


    Lets face it, we download because we have a fundamental desire/need to not pay.

    You could blow up the entire internet if you wanted. All that would happen is we would go back to trading CDs with friends or at the pub etc etc. Worse still, more people will be forced back to the dodgy market stalls with camcorder copies burned to DVD and we are back in "piracy funds organised crime" land. At least my bit torrent download doesn't put a fiver in the pocket of a mafia member.

    This idea that stopping internet piracy will make piracy go away is just nonsense.

  11. alexis

    back to old times

    I have not read the small print so I don't fully understand how they prepose to do this, but from what I do understand their system will be able to reconise illiagle content. I don't see how that can work. If I down load a recent release movie then they could maybe tell from the file name, but if the uploaded were to change the name of the file to something unrelsted or archive and encrypt the file then how can the ISP tell.

    The only way I can see them doing that is to warn people that download large files. Although that is a problem with people downloading leagl software. Just think iTunes movie rental.

    The piracy of software as been arround since before the Internet, and it has always been a problem it is just since it has become easy for the avarge joe to pirate warez that these issues have popes up. It all started with nspster and programs of like. Those died then came torrents that every tom dick and harry can download. Before those there was and still is IRC which the avarge joe has never herd of.

    All that's going to happen is torrents will be the first thing they will target and when they are gone piracy will drop right down and only the few that have been pirating warez form the begining will carry on with out affect. Then the genral piracy will go back to swapping floppys. So get your 1.44s out and wipe the dust off!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    pay for bandwidth

    rapidshare and similar pay for bandwidth file sharing services is the best way forward (as is difficult to trace / shape over ssl) and the hosting company has an economic incentive to protect your privacy. the current £3 for 10GB is alot of product.

    Now if you have something like quicksilver or joox streaming divx directly off rapidshare or similar then you have a winner. I'd pay an extra £2 per 10GB (total £5) to the hosting company to make it all legal. Heck I'd even put up with an advert mid way through the video file.

    @alexis renaming a torrent file won't help you....

  13. Khaptain Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The real problem with Piracy

    Should the ISP's ever shut down torrent,usenet's etc what will the real result be.

    [/Rant On]

    There will be a hell of a lot less exposure for many artists. I know that due to a direct result of filesharing, many of my colleagues actually go out and buy the damned CD AFTER listening to the downloaded MP3's etc....

    The radio stations and television only play what the Music/Film industry dictates, which is not necessarily what Joe Public really wants.

    Does the Music Industry really believe that by removing filesharing that their sales will increase, bolloxs. Due to the current economic situation, Joe Public simply does not have the means to buy 20 Euros CD every week, and certainly not when he knows in advance that 90% of the album is pure commercial crap.

    FileSharing at least allows Joe Public to listen to the album and buy it at a later stage should he deem the contents worthwhile. If the record industry was honest they would allow us to return Crap/badly produced music to the shop and be refunded immediately. Why do they do not give us this right. Have you ever noticed that when you listen to an album in a shop, 9 times out of 10 you no longer

    want to buy it, due to the fact that what they are selling is 90% commercialism.

    I have bought ALL of the cd's/DVD that I have downloaded and enjoyed. I have also deleted probably 98% of everything that i have downloaded.

    If someday they manage to completely remove filesharing, I know for sure that I will buy probably 90% less CD/DVD's.... Unless of course the Music Industry suddenly becomes capable of producing the same quality of artists that were available the 50/60/70 and 80, strangely enough the Crap music/Film industry came into being around the same time that commercialism/publicity exploded.

    If they bring back quality into their products, Joe Public will have a lot less worry about spending on absolute crap....

    Or why not reduce the price of CD/DVD's to a level where I can afford to take the risk..A CD/DVD that comes out just after release costs around 20€/60€. 1 Year later you can buy them in the bargain bin for 5/10 €. Cmon stop taking us for ignorant fools and start marketing material that is worth buying at reasonable prices.

    [/Rant Off]

  14. Writebaby
    Gates Horns

    What about the kids?

    Hmmm.... and how do you explain to the home office that your teenager has just got you cut off from the Internet for illegal downloading... and no ISP will ever reconnect you again


  15. Anonymous Coward


    Splice the mainbrace me hearties! there be the French off the starboard bow!

    Bring all main guns to bear as they draw up alongside and prepare to repel boarders!

  16. Ian

    ISPs support the proposal?


    From the article:

    "Backing the proposal are the usual suspects: publishers, retailers and a large chunk of ISPs"

    Why do ISPs support it? The article itself pointed out it's going to cost, higher costs mean less profits for ISPs or greater costs for customers leading to less customers. They also then can't play ignorance when someone suggests they should filter other things (in the case of the UK things like "extreme porn"). It's just going to put them into a spiral of costs that's going too make them unprofitable or lose them thousands of customers who simply can't afford the increased prices.

    Are French ISPs just infinitely more stupid than most British ISPs or are they all tied in to the content industry like Virgin and hence protecting their other businesses?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Bliss ignorance

    I see a lot of ignorance in both this article and some of the comments, notably Anonymous Coward @ 2th June 2008 11:13 GMT.

    Where were you to think that your traffic will be monitored either by your ISP or from your Freebox (Frybox as you call it)? This is a complete nonsense and a ridiculous claim. It will be the usual companies working for copyright holders (mediadefender & co) that will monitor networks for copyright infringements, and then report their findings to an independent administrative body that will be mandated to contact the relevant ISPs. Please get your facts straight before opening your big mouth.

    Here in Paris I have a 100mb FTTH connection, 120+ channels TV & unlimited phone for 29 euro a month, please tell us what do you have for that price back in UK! Muhahahaha, alright. :rollingeyes:

    Such a law will only have effects on the non tech savvy average joe, and thus is not of concern for most "pirates".

  18. Anonymous Coward

    The pirate is a printer or a wireless access point...

    An interesting article from the Uniersity of Washington.


    We reverse engineer copyright enforcement

    in the popular BitTorrent file sharing network and find

    that a common approach for identifying infringing users

    is not conclusive. We describe simple techniques for implicating

    arbitrary network endpoints in illegal content

    sharing and demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques

    experimentally, attracting real DMCA complaints

    for nonsense devices, e.g., IP printers and a wireless access

    point. We then step back and evaluate the challenges

    and possible future directions for pervasive monitoring in

    P2P file sharing networks.


    Apart from that, the "loi Hadopi" was validated today by the State Council

    (Equivalent of a Supreme Court for administrative juridictions) against

    the opinion of the CNIL (data protection watchdog). The law will be presented

    to the Governement on June 18, 2008.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Matthew Wilkes

    "No, it doesn't. Firstly, to anyone else reading this, there is no doctrine of fair use in the UK, that's US law."

    Errr, we're talking about France here - do keep up.

  20. Paul M.

    ISP costs


    "It's just going to put them into a spiral of costs that's going too make them unprofitable or lose them thousands of customers who simply can't afford the increased prices."

    Unfortunately the Jolly Pirates here don't apply the same logic to themselves. When they leech music, the cost of legal purchases for everyone else goes up. Then the Freetards complain that music is too expensive, and CD prices should be lower. Choose your spiral.

    Do Freetards have a big part of their brains missing?

  21. Paul M.

    @ Dam

    > How are they to differentiate *legal* and *illegal* copyrighted contents ?

    Gee, let me guess. On a well known open tracker right now I see:


    805.83 MiB

    3469 seeders

    2899 leechers


    4.11 GiB

    216 seeders

    993 leechers

    Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends [mp3-vbr-20

    112.61 MiB

    2813 seeders

    83 leechers

    That was difficult.

    Are you this dumb everyday, or just on Fridays?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Software update push...

    One example on how they can enforce this;

    I have a Orange/France Telecom connection here at home, and one day I noticed that the administration interface had changed. Obviously, they are pushing software updates directly to my router. Only allowing me marginal control over it's features.

    They could then obviously install some kind of snooping software that both polices my internet connection as well as spying on my private network shares etc.

    Mine is the one with the croissant in in the pocket.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You tell your children not to steal music, just as you tell them not to give out personal information on chatrooms, look at inappropriate content or make money on the side by stripping in front of a webcam.

    If they are old enough to make their own minds up then they are old enough to either respect your rules in a grown up manner or buy their own interweb connection and computer.

    Then, the first time you get a letter (remember we are talking 3 strikes type thing here) you check your computer for P2P software / illegal songs.

    Assuming it is your children stealing stuff you then speak to them. You lay down the law. You tell them that stealing is wrong (surely you already have done this) and you impress on them the seriousness of their actions and the consequences to you and them should they continue.

    In short you parent.

  24. Graham Rhodes

    High download/upload

    What worries me is how they are going to police this...

    I download and upload copyrighted material heavily, and mostly encrypted. How many people just jumped to the conclusion that I am a pirate?

    Actually it's all work related - each software release is around 300MB, and I download these when required. Legally and Copyrighted. Customer designs and testcases can be bigger than that, and I frequently download them, decrypt them, and place them on the company net. All over encrypted connections. Why from home? Because I spend less than 10% of my time in the office.

    How are they going to differentiate between my legitimate traffic - all encrypted, and that of somebody on P2P using encryption. How are they going to know the difference when I use P2P (encrypted of course) to get my latest linux installs?

    I can easily do a couple of GBs up and down a night - similar to somebody illegal.

    Will they cut me off for doing my job? They need to leave a means of appeal, because my company would surely appeal on my behalf.

    @software update push. I'm on - they do the same. I never trusted the router that was configured from the web, and downloaded it's settings. Therefore I run a secondary firewall/router behind that.

    The pirate, because... erm...

  25. Blockhead

    Confusion, and a Killer App

    Music is more expensive now? Here in the USA we ricains fous can download an entire CD on iTunes for $9.99. In 1978 it was a happy surprise to find an LP for $10. That $10 in 1978 is worth $32 today, using the US Consumer Price Index as a baseline. So in real terms music now costs 1/3 of what it was 30 years ago, and I can download it legally 24/7. Also I can preview tracks and not buy the crap if I don't want to - which was tough to do in 1978. Anyone else remember buying a whole LP just to get one song? And that's all you got!

    Not being a freetard - how does the law of supply and demand work there? I have friends who brag about having 8K songs on their iPods, but what's the point? Who is ever going to have time to listen to that much music? (PS If you answer this question I will not assume that you are a freetard, just informed).

    Now the killer app part: Have we finally found the killer app for Public Key Infrastructure? There are very good asymmetric keys and software available for free (legally) - and it could be a challenge for sniffers to identify intellectual property that is well-encrypted with AES or 3DES.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul M.

    When they leech music, the cost of legal purchases for everyone else goes up. Then the Freetards complain that music is too expensive, and CD prices should be lower. Choose your spiral.

    Yeah cos if we all stopped downloading tomorrow then the big record companies would slash prices wouldnt they?

    Wake up and smell the coffee, this is another attempt by the big media companies to resist what is not going to be resisted.

    They didnt move with the market, which means they fail, same with any other company that doesnt move with the market

  27. Mr B

    Itemised invoice anyone ???

    When reading this:

    "AFP Jan. 21, 2008

    BRUSSELS, Belgium - IP addresses, a string of numbers that identifies a computer, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday."

    One would think "good" they can't collect information that easily.

    Unfortunately there are a couple of courts' rulings stating the IP number is a non personal/private thing. The CNIL (see is challenging the rulings before the Court of Cassation.

    This law will be unenforceable as the obvious thing is: Community law supersedes national law, so I can go up to European Court to get things settled so that, in France too, the IP is a personal piece of info, which will then make me entitled to ask my ISP (thru the CNIL) to send me a copy of all the tiny bits it's been collecting ...

    Which then means I'll be entitled to request :

    - An itemised invoice for all the IPs that have been leased to me as well as all the IPs I connected to, with time stamp, duration ... etc...etc... and I want a dully rubber stamped paper copy sent via registered/recorded mail as it's the norm in France.

    I don't see that happening it would be un-ecofriendly to use that much paper. And MPs must be very wary that some thorough employees at ISPs may be sniffing MPs' children's IP packets for pirated contents.

  28. Mad Dave



    Presumably you will be reporting all of yuor local library users for 'stealing' books from their library? Or reporting the guy looking over your shoulder at your newspaper for 'theft'?

    Humbug and hogwash.

    Also, Paul M, how does the fact that an individual may have downloaded an album increase the price of that item to others? Similarly, the cost of books must rise when people borrow them from their local library, or the cost of a newspaper must increase every time someone reads it over your shoulder?

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