Evaluating the first 3 months of France’s “Three-Strikes” law

Internet service providers operating in France began complying with the country’s HADOPI legistlation, more commonly known as the “Three-Strikes Law”, by sending out warning letters to citizens suspected of illegal file-sharing at the beginning of October.

Now, three months into the experimental and widely criticized program, we have some insight as to how the early operations of HADOPI are going for the French government.

Evaluating the first 3 months of France's "Three-Strikes" law

Since October 2nd, it is estimated that French ISPs have sent an estimated 100,000 warning letters to French citizens in response to complaints from entertainment industry trade groups. It seems, however, that this is much less volume than entertainment industry leaders had hoped at the inception of “three-strikes”.

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In fact, as TorrentFreak reports, there seems to be a bit of a “complaints bottleneck” issues going on, with the trade groups sending complaints to HADOPI much more quickly than ISPs are able to process them. Complaints began at a rate of approximately 25,000 per day in October, and have now more than doubled. However, since November, actual warning letters have only reached a rate of 2,000 per day – more than just a small disparity.

The three magistrates in charge of HADOPI’s Rights Protection Commission (CDP), Mireille Imbert Quaretta, Jean-Yves Monfort and Jacques Bille, have defended themselves to the French press against industry complaints regarding the slow pace, stating that they’ve “selected carefully the cases” which have been forwarded to ISPs for processing.

When asked whether they believe the anti-piracy measures are having an effect on illegal file-sharing in their country, the magistrates told France’s daily paper Le Figaro that “It is simply too soon to conclude.”

“Either we send out hordes of emails and be seen as horribly repressive,” Bille told the reporter, “or we are more cautious and we qualify as ineffective.”

In January, the second warnings to repeat offenders will begin to be sent by the ISPs. It isn’t clear yet when the third, and presumably final, warnings will begin, but then things will really begin to get interesting.

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