back to article France backs away from Hadopi

The French government is counting the cost of having copyright enforcement shifted from the corporate to the public sector – and it’s not pleased at what it sees. Hadopi, the body charged with hunting down freetards under France’s three-strikes law, has sent a million warning e-mails and 99,000 registered letters. This …


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  1. Rabbit80
    Thumb Up


    At a reported cost of 12 million Euros, which overs a payroll that knculdes 60 agents, the whole exercise has been described as “unwieldy, uneconomic and ultimately ineffective”

    Hmmm - must learn that word - I'll start trying to knculde it in future conversations.

    1. LarsG

      A million warning emails!

      Let's be realistic here, its all about NUMBERS. How long would it take to investigate and prosecute 1,000 000 copyright infringements let alone 99,000?

      Especially when the defence is, 'someone must have been using my wifi connection.'

      It's an unenforceable Law.

    2. Captain TickTock



  2. Arctic fox

    RE: "only a priest would not yield." Actually, given the record of priests regularly..........

    ............committing far worse offences than internet piracy I would imagine there is a torrent in every vestry.

    1. Arctic fox

      RE: "Actually, given......" A thumbs down?

      Is that you Your Holiness?

      1. Arctic fox

        Re: RE: "Actually, given......" Yet more thumbs down?

        ........we appear to have an entire convocation of rather touchy clergy on the thread today. My earlier postings strike a little to close to home perhaps?

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: RE: "Actually, given......" Yet more thumbs down?

          You've basically accused every single member of the clergy (of every religion that has a "clergy") of being, effectively a bunch of paedophiles.

          And then you accused them of that again when, like a spoiled ignorant child, you had the arrogance to complain about people who disagreed with your ignorant viewpoint.

          I'm an irreligious atheist who has no time for organised religions in any shape or form, so I have no particular love for the clergy myself. Nevertheless, I'm not so stupid as to believe that they are all child molesters.

          1. Bumpy Cat

            Re: RE: "Actually, given......" Yet more thumbs down?

            There are hundreds of cases worldwide of child abuse by priests. Many of these cases were known to the senior clergy who managed the abusive priests. The cases were not reported to the authorities and the abusive priests were moved around and able to abuse more children.

            If a priest advocates married clergy, or gay marriage, or contraception, he is yanked out of post so fast his pointy shoes remain behind. Why has this never been applied to abusive clergy? It is this failure of policy and heirarchy that damns the Catholic church. It really looks like child abuse is not regarded as a serious problem by the church authorities - and even now it's regarded as more of a PR problem than anything else.

            1. Arctic fox
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              @Bumpy Cat Re:"There are hundreds of cases......"

              Indeed BC, that was precisely what I was aiming at. Indeed the figure on a global basis is probably in the thousands.

          2. Arctic fox
            Thumb Down

            Re: "You've basically accused every single member of the clergy ........"

            Re-read the grammatical structure in my original posting again. You have in fact chosen to interpret it in that particular way. Though it has to be said that the large number of paedophile priests assaulting the children of their flocks over the years combined with the large number of churchmen (some at very senior level) who were well aware of what was going on (and in many cases actively protected those swine, making themselves "accessories after the fact" BTW) leaves us with a very large number indeed of priests who should be serving substantial jail sentences. Your pompous indignation is (to say the least of it) misdirected.

          3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: RE: "Actually, given......" Yet more thumbs down?

            "You've basically accused every single member of the clergy (of every religion that has a "clergy") of being, effectively a bunch of paedophiles."

            Whilst I don't hold with generalisations, the OP did onthing of the sort. He stated that since there are plenty of worse things that priests have done, then it is hardly unlikely that they would all have illegal downloads. Nowhere was the 'p' word mentioned.

            Personally, when I think of the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church, I like to think of the Spanish Inquisition, and Crusades, as well as the modern scandals of paedophilia and corruption.

            Anyway, you may not be so stupid as to believe that all members of the clergy are child molesters, but you are stupid enough to accuse someone else of saying exactly that when they said nothing like it.

            1. Arctic fox
              Thumb Up

              @Loyal Commenter: Indeed, hole in one.

              "He stated that since there are plenty of worse things that priests have done, then it is hardly unlikely that they would all have illegal downloads."

              That was indeed the essence of my original posting. It was of course sardonic/satirical but (IMHO) addressed a point raised by the the quote of a colloquial French expression of the type "sober as a judge". It was precisely my point that the use of the original French expression was, in one of the most horrible ironies of recent times, most unfortunate - a fact that I attempted to illustrate with, I freely admit, some extremely pointed remarks.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    “unwieldy, uneconomic and ultimately ineffective”

    If only someone had told them this in advance.

  4. Anonymous Coward 101

    Playing Devil's Advocate...

    Couldn't it be argued that if nobody has been cut off by now, then they never really had any intention of cutting anybody off? And pirates realised this and carried on pirating regardless?

  5. hitmouse

    "Hadopi had also failed in a key part of its mission, to foster legal content to replace illegal downloads."

    Yeah, France is one of the worst places in Western Europe to find content. It has a release schedule for movies and music that's frequently months behind its neighbours. Content on Amazon France is much less than on say Amazon UK, and will often cost more.

    The continuing segmentation of the legal online market using geolocking only contributes to the issue. What's available in one iTunes/Spotify/Amazon/... store varies wildly from one country to the next.

    1. KroSha

      +1. The problem is still the publishers. As long as they continue to run their markets as if the only way to obtain content is to purchase a physical copy from the shops, nothing will improve. They need to realise that there are very few barriers to obtaining anything from anywhere, if you know where to look.

      Staggering release schedules, equally staggering costs for 1 & 2 night rentals and the general low quality of 80% of the output means that the general public no longer thinks the offerings are worth what they want to charge.

      1. hitmouse

        Plus it's laughable that the publishers use Facebook and Twitter to promote a release to the entire world and then don't make it available to all but a randomly selected number of countries.

        They also have their artist stable brainwashed to believe that if the label hasn't released a CD in a certain country then they shouldn't sell the MP3s either.

      2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        The reason for the later releases is because most Region 2 DVDs have to be localised.

        Translating a particularly dialog-heavy movie script can take days to nail down. After which you then have the problem of finding actors to dub over the original soundtrack for those countries that prefer dubbing (e.g. Italy.) And, for the remainder, you have to pay someone to put in the subtitles too, which is also rather more than a day's work.

        Translation of humour is particularly difficult, so even action movies—often dialogue-light, but with a much higher quotient of quips and one-liners—can take a while. How do you translate a joke about Sylvester Stallone's famously mumbled speech, when he's going to be overdubbed by a perfectly understandable voice actor? How do you translate a one-liner about there being no "I" in "team" in a language where the equivalent word for "I" isn't even pronounced as a single letter?

        The converse is also true: compare Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge's translations of Uderzo & Goscinny's "Asterix" comics with the original French text and you'll see that many of the jokes are completely different as the original has a lot more political and social satire that simply doesn't translate. Bell & Hockridge pretty much have to rewrite the dialogue completely, retaining only the core story and plot. (Even the characters have very different names in English.)

        There's a good reason why a translator will get about 50% of the royalties for a novel: they're effectively writing a new novel based closely on the original. Rather like porting a video-game in its entirety from SNOBOL into C++.

        Given that all of the above costs money in addition to the cost of making the original movie, it's hardly surprising that they tend to put it off until they've seen some returns on their investments and have a good idea of what the demand will be.

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Okay, maybe not porting a video-game, but an application.

          (Why the hell doesn't the El Reg forum software not support editing of posts? It's an IT news website for f*ck's sake!)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There is one problem with that - those of us that want the the DVDs or books in the original language.

          It is *very* annoying to struggle through a book translated into French knowing it is nowhere like the original English version.

          The whole 'region' thing need to be dismantled to allow people the buy what they want from where they want.

          1. Daggersedge

            Not a problem for books

            Well, if you want a book in the original language, then buy it in that language. I don't see what the problem is here.

            As for DVDs, it can be a problem, though. One thing I hate is subtitles that are 'wired' into the film in some way. I have had to buy again some French films I had already bought in the UK because there was no way to make the English subtitles go away. Very annoying when you actually do speak French.

          2. hitmouse

            I've watched a few big-budget international VO movies at cinemas in France recently where the French subtitles have completely omitted important points or even jokes that were delivered vocally. This is not in dialogue-heavy scenes or where the dialogue is ambiguous/punny.

            It's as if the translator had no idea what was going on and so either supplied no subtitle, or wrote some meaningless filler.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              oh gawd yeah, well, at least you haven't yet witnessed the hilarity of an English movie (VO) in a Swiss Cinema. French AND German subtitles. I can personally assure you, German subbers are ALOT more thorough, no speech, nay, no noise to come out of a person/animal goes un-subbed.... even if they do fail on the translation of jokes/puns.

              ( watching Batman last week, I noticed several instances of French: "...merde..." / accun ; German: <<wichtige Informationen Grundstück>> )

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          @Sean Timarco Baggaley

          I don't tihnk anoyone would argue that DVDs have to be localised for different markets. This, however, does not justify the region-locking that prevents a consumer in country A in region 1 from buying the DVD from country B in region 2 and playing it on their hardware in the original language.

        4. hitmouse

          "The reason for the later releases is because most Region 2 DVDs have to be localised."

          You're missing quite a lot of points to give us a treatise on translation that's irrelevant to the subject.

          1. Music isn't localised but suffers the same lag. There are actually quite a lot of French artist releases which appear all over Europe and the UK weeks or months before they appear domestically. If I want to get something from the UK or Germany then the wait may be even longer. All they need to do is to allow the vendors to sell outside prescribed IP address ranges.

          2. I don't need French movies localised.but quite a few of those turn up in the UK or Australia (with English subtitles) before they appear in French without any subtitles. About 0.5% (my estimate) of French-produced films have English subtitles, but they will often include everything from Ancient Greek to Thermian to fill up the disc, as long as it's not English. Also quite a lot of French films simply aren't released on DVD internationally even though they've had cinematic releases with subtitles or dubbings. Try getting a classic like Borsalino on DVD with subtitles even though it was showing on TV internationally in the 70s. The distributors tear their hair out as they cannot meet international demand as the rights-holders are so complacent.

          3. There is no way for anyone to buy English (or other language) TV/movies as VO downloads in France because of geolocking and similar issues. This is replicated around the world, because media are labels are dumb and cannot conceive of any customer not being monolingual.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So ... the translation of region 1 releases into Spanish (pretty much always) and French (at times) takes place inside a time machine where other languages cannot go?

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Reminds me of this

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Fair point but just 'cos you you can't get something immediately doesn't give anyone the right to help themselves to it via dodgy channels. I'm not pointing fingers, just stating the facts. That tired old chestnut of "can't buy it yet, so I'll have to download it for free until it is available to buy" doesn't hold any water.

      1. hitmouse

        Re: @hitmouse

        I don't think anyone here is advocating that, just underlining the obvious fact that the publishers have done nothing to make legal purchases easier, or indeed possible.

  6. thomas k.

    But, wait ...

    Weren't they trumpeting just a few months (possibly during the previous administration) ago that Hadopi had resulted in lowering the volume of illegal downloads by some large amount?

    I'm old, though, and forget stuff so maybe it was somewhere else that happened.

    1. Daggersedge

      Re: But, wait ...

      Both things could be true. It can be too expensive and problematic to enforce a law, yet, at the same time, the law's very existence can frighten enough people that they avoid breaking it. Indeed, that may have been the whole point of passing the law. At the time, they were well aware of the problems of enforcing it. I know this because I live in France and speak French and I remember some of the debates that went on at the time.

      1. npupp 1

        Re: But, wait ...

        Yes, I distinctly remember the mother-in-law stopping "pirating" ancient French movies, that she has on VHS, but are 1) no longer sold; 2) aired on TV yearly.

        The fear of disconnection and being unable to Skype was too great for her.

        So yes, that's one person scared by Hadoopi. Everyone else I knew carried on with a more typical French attitude (I'll stop at the 3rd notice, if they catch me)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    It's simple: the agencies are stupid

    The income of an artist doesn't dwindle by people copying their music. In fact; in most of the cases it actually does the exact opposite. Something people who knew what they're talking about have been saying for years now.

    A very recent (and IMO awesome) example of that would be South Korean singer / rapper PSY's latest achievement: Gangnam Style (YouTube link). Its Korean dance music combined with Korean rap (I suppose), crazy (funny!) dance moves and IMVHO its an /extremely/ catchy tune.

    Yes ladies and gentlemen; you can listen and watch it as many times as you like because PSY himself made sure to share this as much as he can on YouTube.

    The original video (as linked above), a feat with the "Making off" (which IMO is pretty awesome in itself), several other (not always related) video's and music and here's the catch...

    Already he shared /several/ movies where he's performing this song live on stage. Also totally free for us all to enjoy (and maybe I'm biased but it looks awesome to me!).

    NOW stop there for a moment and ask yourself this: Did the audience witnessing those live performances got there for free? I don't think so! How many times have we seen "professional" artists starting to cause a riot because people tried to film their performance(s) and share it?

    PSY otoh puts it all online himself for us to enjoy. And from what I understand (I could be mistaken here:) he currently tries on as many gigs as he can.

    Result? Well, we (gf & me) reached a point where we are actually keeping track if PSY will ever consider a European tour, because if he does then we want to be there!

    Gee, I wonder where the real money is made here....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spend the money instead on those who kill, maim, rape, rob and abuse. Once you have solved those problems you can think about looking at those who copy things.

    1. hitmouse

      "Spend the money instead on those who kill, maim, rape, rob and abuse. "

      I believe Paris is one of the havens of choice for despots who indulge in this behaviour.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done France!

    Our politicians on the other hand remain for sale:

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