France Set to Dump 'Three Strikes' Law
But Keep Several Other Bad Ideas In Place
France was one of the first countries to impose laws that require ISPs terminate the service of users who repeatedly engage in copyright infringement. Under the rules, copyright offenders were tracked by a newly-created taxpayer-funded agency dubbed Hadopi and a hired company named Trident Media Guard (TMG). Hadopi then works with ISPs to obtain personal information and send out warning letters or kick people off the Internet. The program hasn't really slowed piracy, and the collected data was the target of a hack attack
Hadopi was supported by ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, but new French President Francois Hollande made it a campaign promise to eliminate the three strikes program. As part of that promise Hollande assigned an ex-entertainment industry executive named Pierre Lescure to study Hadopi. The results of that study are out, and while it suggests three strikes be killed off
, several bad ideas will remain, including user fines and a piracy tax on smartphones and tablets:
Hadopi the agency would be done away with, but another agency would pick up some of the responsibilities, it's just that they'd greatly decrease the "punishment" aspect. Rather than losing internet access and having to pay up to 1,500, you'd keep your access and fines would be topped at 60. But, on top of that, there are other policies that Lescure suggests that seem pretty bad as well, including extending the copyright levy (the "you must be a criminal tax") to cover smartphones, tablets and any other connected device.
There's of course nothing requiring the government enact any of the reports recommendations. However, it's very clear that three strikes' shelf life appears to be limited -- as is the entertainment industry's long push to have repeat copyright offenders kicked off of the Internet.