Speculation about future of trois-strikes

By | Published on Monday 17 December 2012


The French government may reinvent its anti-piracy programme Hadopi, according to reports. The Hadopi office oversees the three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing introduced in France in 2009.

Although the body has been prolific in sending out warning letters to suspected file-sharers, the future of trios-strikes and Hadopi itself has been called into question this year, before strike three has really got underway, with the new French government less enthusiastic about cutting off the internet connections of prolific copyright infringers.

Ministers commissioned a review of the three-strikes system, and the people doing that review submitted a preliminary report last week. In it they noted that levels of P2P file-sharing in France had gone down since the introduction of trios-strikes, but they added that that may be because web users are instead accessing unlicensed content illegally from sources other than P2P networks, which aren’t being monitored by Hadopi. Concerns from consumer rights groups about three-strikes are also revisited in the report.

No immediate change of policy is likely, given the review isn’t expected to submit its full report until next spring. However those reviewing Hadopi’s work are already proposing alternative ways to combat illegal file-sharing and other forms of online piracy, in the main targeting those companies and websites that make it easier for individuals to infringe, rather than the individual infringers themselves.

That would potentially move France more into the realm of web-blocking instead of three-strikes. As previously reported, in the UK the Digital Economy Act introduced its own version of three-strikes in 2010, but that is yet to go live, while the movie and record industries have won web-blocking injunctions against file-sharing services under existing copyright laws.