The controversial three strikes law meant to combat online piracy in France saw its first victim at a time when its validity is called into question by the government
As many of you already know the system works like this: it all starts with a complaint of a copyright owner; at first the alleged illegal downloader gets an e-mail warning in which he/she is asked to cease any activity involving illegal file-sharing. In its second phase, the system implies a certified letter being sent to the owner of the internet connection used in the illegal file-sharing activities. Finally, the third phase of the system means the actual suspension of the internet connection of the individual suspected of downloading copyright protected content.
HADOPI’s first ofender was cut off the internet for fifteen days and fined 600 EURO. He is now prevented from accessing any Internet service with the exception of e-mail, VoIP and chat services which fall under the right to communicate. However, the ofender has 10 days to appeal to the decision until the penalty is applied.
Over the last few months the controversy around the three strikes legislation has increased a great deal and the future of this is rather questionable. Last month, a conclusion by a government commission read that the internet suspension should be removed as penalty and lower fines should be imposed instead.
After a close look at the current copyright law, the commission proposed for a copyright levy – this means that users would pay a small tax for each device that can be used to play digital media, a tax that already exists in other countries neighbouring France.