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French government to disconnect 60 file sharers

French government to disconnect 60 file sharers

After ignoring two warning letters, the 60 users now face losing their net connections for a month.

A total of 60 French internet users are currently under risk of having their internet connections cut off after continually ignoring warnings about illegal file-sharing activities.

In what could be a landmark event, the 60 pirates face fines of €1,500 each and a month of going cold turkey with no net connection, reports our sister publication, PC Pro.

The action comes off the back of the French government's ‘three strikes’ policy, which was implemented last year in a bid to curb illegal file-sharing.

To give an indication of the amount of people flouting the rules, the succinctly titled Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet agency (or HADOPI to the sane) has sent out approximately 650,000 first warning letters to French internet users.

Of these 650,000, 44,000 have received a second letter after their file sharing activities failed to stop, and of these only the 60 people in question continued their activities. They now face a home visit from HADOPI officials to determine if the agency wishes to push ahead with the fine and internet ban.

Thankfully, the UK is still some way from actually implementing its own three strikes policy, as outlined in the Digital Economy Act. However, the success of the events in France shows what we could potentially be seeing over here in the future.

Are you a French internet user who has received a letter? Do you think governments should be taking the lead role on stamping out internet piracy? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

31 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
yakyb 7th October 2011, 11:46 Quote
sounds incredibly fair and reasonable
Bede 7th October 2011, 11:54 Quote
The sooner this happens in England the better. Children need to know that digital and intellectual theft is the same as physical theft.
Zinfandel 7th October 2011, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
The sooner this happens in England the better. Children need to know that digital and intellectual theft is the same as physical theft.

I like how you say this as if it's only children that download copyrighted torrents.
Teh Noob Slayer 7th October 2011, 12:36 Quote
Yes, received the third warning. Internet is going to be cut today. Those French government wan
Teh Noob Slayer 7th October 2011, 12:40 Quote
seriously though:

Should the government be snooping on everything you do online?
If they know where you have been going can't they just block access?
MjFrosty 7th October 2011, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Noob Slayer
seriously though:

Should the government be snooping on everything you do online?
If they know where you have been going can't they just block access?

It is a bit of a liberty, yeah. That doesn't excuse piracy though. It's just one of those situations in life which will never have a diplomatic solution. As long as people can do it freely, they will.

I'm still an avid PC gamer and as such, morals aside I'd rather not kill off my own hobby by stealing from from peoples lively hoods - which is essentially what you are doing, and in some cases putting people out of their jobs.



Bit *untish really! Pack it in..

Also, worth noting that some ISPs in the UK do enforce this. AOL have fined and disconnected a number of users for pirating TV and movie contented owned by Time Warner.
Brooxy 7th October 2011, 13:09 Quote
I'd like to know how the french government are distinguishing between an illigal torrent and a legal torrent. If somebody is downloading Linux Distros / Freeware via a torrent (or even P2P), are they going to get in the poo for it?
devilxc 7th October 2011, 13:18 Quote
When laws reflect about what Piracy actually is in the modern world then this sort of enforcement becomes more understandable. Not morally correct but with a right wing government, understandable.

Two points;

Buying a CD / DVD and sending it to a friend is fine. Buying a digital copy of a song / film and sending to a friend is illegal!? That's not right.

Secondly, the Government could put GPS in every car and monitor the speeds. Three times over the limit and you're banned from driving. Fair by law but morally wrong.

Just because the media are against piracy doesn't mean you're not allowed to think about it.
Showerhead 7th October 2011, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devilxc
When laws reflect about what Piracy actually is in the modern world then this sort of enforcement becomes more understandable. Not morally correct but with a right wing government, understandable.

Two points;

Buying a CD / DVD and sending it to a friend is fine. Buying a digital copy of a song / film and sending to a friend is illegal!? That's not right.

Secondly, the Government could put GPS in every car and monitor the speeds. Three times over the limit and you're banned from driving. Fair by law but morally wrong.

Just because the media are against piracy doesn't mean you're not allowed to think about it.

Actually buying a cd then lending it to a friend is illegal under most T&C it's just outside of tying cd to account of some sort as most pc games do it's impossible to enforce.

Agree on the second point though. It's the worrying implication that the French Government has been monitoring all net traffic by it's citizens.
Ced-G60 7th October 2011, 14:06 Quote
This news is kind of missing half the fact sadly. Am French citizen. Those people are not accused of illegal download but for not taking the necessary step to secure their Internet connection to avoid illegal download. Which is a lot different. Am sure everyone her can pretend to have is wifi secure and can guaranty is IP addresses won't be used some other way right ? (Ever hear of Seek**** ?).

I won't argue about the legal part or illegal part. You should know that in France, pretty much all legal material are protected with DRM and braking such protection is again the law. On the other side, we are paying a tax on every media (CD,DVD HDD, GPS,Phone, etc) for personal copy. Which can not be done because everything is under DRM. Ironic won't you say ?

The problem with download is not the actual doing, but the way the economy of the system is made. Why should we have to wait 1 or 2 years to see the next season of your favorite TV show ? You can get it free instantly. Go tell people not to do it after that. I'll say fine, but you have be able to buy it legally fast.

Anyways, this French law is full of it. It won't go anywhere simply because is not applicable. You will probably never see anyone cut from the net. But that does not stop them from spending those 12 millions euro of annual budget. We sure can spare this atm. ;)
Evildead666 7th October 2011, 16:02 Quote
Multi-national ACTA will be here soon for all those that feel left out ;)
TheStockBroker 7th October 2011, 16:10 Quote
and this, ladies and gentlemen, is where the VPN tunnelling begins!
greypilgers 7th October 2011, 17:49 Quote
Slightly off topic, but not sure i agree with devilxc - if they put a black box in your car and you're caught going over the speed limit three times and banned, it's not morally wrong. The driver is morally wrong for breaking a clear law. I fail to see how you could feel sorry for someone who knows something is not correct, but then is caught for doing it and cries foul.

Copying without consent is still copying without consent. Doesn't matter whether it's a program or not.
TWeaK 7th October 2011, 18:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
The sooner this happens in England the better. Children need to know that digital and intellectual theft is the same as physical theft.

While the things you mentioned are the same, it is not theft these people are accused of, but copywrite infringement, which is different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UK Theft Act 1968
1
Basic definition of theft.


(1)
A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

Similar, but different.

Wasn't there a load of controversy surrounding the company the French government contracted and their practice in collecting data? I'm surprised this farce has been allowed to continue so far. However, I do hope that it carries on, and that it goes further with at least some of the 60 people taking the French government to the European courts, so that this ridiculous type of law can finally be put to rest.
drjaydee 7th October 2011, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Slightly off topic, but not sure i agree with devilxc - if they put a black box in your car and you're caught going over the speed limit three times and banned, it's not morally wrong. The driver is morally wrong for breaking a clear law. I fail to see how you could feel sorry for someone who knows something is not correct, but then is caught for doing it and cries foul.

Copying without consent is still copying without consent. Doesn't matter whether it's a program or not.

i think he means that the monitoring of people's cars locations is morally wrong, even though it would catch and deter speeding
r3loaded 7th October 2011, 18:54 Quote
The main issue I have with this type of crap is the complete lack of judicial oversight. Very little chance to challenge or even see the evidence against you, the "guilty unless proven innocent" stance and the way that media companies can short-circuit the legal process for their own ends. Not to mention that this amounts to collective punishment of an entire household for the actions of one person.

The EU has also ruled that member states should not implement disconnections as a punishment as this is considered to be a disproportionate response. France's law is therefore in direct contravention to the EU. All that's needed now is someone to take the government to court - this law doesn't have a leg to stand on.
dark_avenger 8th October 2011, 03:53 Quote
And what happens when some idiot leaves his/her wifi unsecured and has there net disconnect from other people downloading on it?

Fair enough they should know better but a lot of people don't....
r3loaded 8th October 2011, 07:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_avenger
And what happens when some idiot leaves his/her wifi unsecured and has there net disconnect from other people downloading on it?

Fair enough they should know better but a lot of people don't....
Or even worse, the people who have WEP enabled on their router and believe they are secure.
faugusztin 8th October 2011, 08:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
Multi-national ACTA will be here soon for all those that feel left out ;)

Not in EU for now. At least for something EU is good. For those who don't know what i am talking about - a delegate from EU was creating ACTA, but no one from EU commission can sign it because ACTA is talking about stuff not delegated to EU from national parliaments. So EU needs a 100% support from national parliaments to be able to sign it - which will take some time to do even if all of them want to do it.
Woodspoon 8th October 2011, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_avenger
And what happens when some idiot leaves his/her wifi unsecured and has there net disconnect from other people downloading on it?

Fair enough they should know better but a lot of people don't....
Or even worse, the people who have WEP enabled on their router and believe they are secure.

And what will happen to public wifi access in places like Starbucks or McDonalds?

The thing that bother's me the most here is that this is in France, a country well known for a quite liberal and relaxed attitude towards large areas of the law.
I dread to think whats going to happen with the usual clumsy and heavy handed attitude of the UK.
SirFur 8th October 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon


The thing that bother's me the most here is that this is in France, a country well known for a quite liberal and relaxed attitude towards large areas of the law.
I dread to think whats going to happen with the usual clumsy and heavy handed attitude of the UK.

Are you crazy?

Do you even know what kind of laws there are in France? The UK is one of the most easy-going nations in the EU and are the most liberal. You can do more here than anywhere in the EU.

The UK implements its laws differently and may be clumsy, but is no where near as heavy-handed as France.

If the UK was to implement such a scheme here, I have confidence it would be done better than elsewhere.
ec928 9th October 2011, 10:29 Quote
You don't know the UK very well do you? Europe might have a lot of laws, but it's in the UK that small minded public administrators justify their existence, and our tax/council tax money, by zealously interpreting them in petty, silly ways. Not especially pragmatic, open minded or full of common sense these public workers.
greypilgers 9th October 2011, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjaydee
i think he means that the monitoring of people's cars locations is morally wrong, even though it would catch and deter speeding

Not sure why it is morally wrong. If the individual has no problems with it, it is not morally wrong. If these boxes had been around since the very first car, no one would bat an eyelid. I wouldn't have a problem with it, as I wouldn't be breaking the law. If I did, and I was caught, well, I shouldn't do the crime if I can't do the time.

All these people who knowingly break the law by stealing a product/code that someone else worked for, without paying for it, and who then get all worked up when the Governments are pressured to do something about it, should just man up and stop bitching. Whether you like it or not, it's against the law - if you're caught, you can't plead ignorance. You don't like a law - do something to change the law. Don't p*ss and moan about how unfair it is 'cos you're breaking a law and then got caught and are being threatened with punishment.

That's what I think anyway. I'm sure many disagree, and that's fine - we all have our own opinions.

:D

However, I absolutely aggree that a stricter burden of proof should rest on those who claim their copyright is infringed, and that punishments need to be more thought out.
b5k 9th October 2011, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
The sooner this happens in England the better. Children need to know that digital and intellectual theft is the same as physical theft.
The moment I can copy/paste a Nissan GTR I agree with you.
greypilgers 9th October 2011, 20:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by b5k
The moment I can copy/paste a Nissan GTR I agree with you.

Ha ha ha... Now that'd be quite a cool trick...
nbaprophet 9th October 2011, 20:32 Quote
Yeah... People should sell the software cheaper and not have the audacity to ask 50 euros for something with a lot of bugs and then complain that it gets pirated. In my opinion this is another corporate move through the government to try and squeeze more out of regular folks. Intellectual theft is not the same as physical theft because you are not preventing somebody else from making use of it.
Threefiguremini 10th October 2011, 09:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Slightly off topic, but not sure i agree with devilxc - if they put a black box in your car and you're caught going over the speed limit three times and banned, it's not morally wrong. The driver is morally wrong for breaking a clear law. I fail to see how you could feel sorry for someone who knows something is not correct, but then is caught for doing it and cries foul.

Copying without consent is still copying without consent. Doesn't matter whether it's a program or not.

To continue the off topicness. If they did do this pretty much everyone who owns a car would be banned from driving.

Back on topic: piracy is not stealing. It's piracy.
Xir 10th October 2011, 09:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ced-G60
pretty much all legal material are protected with DRM and braking such protection is again the law. On the other side, we are paying a tax on every media (CD,DVD HDD, GPS,Phone, etc) for personal copy. Which can not be done because everything is under DRM. Ironic won't you say ?
Exactly the same in Germany ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon
And what will happen to public wifi access in places like Starbucks or McDonalds?
Well, we have "free" Wifi at Mcdonalds in Germany...meaning you access the McD Wifi, it asks you for a mobilephone number, then texts you the access-code.
As all mobile phones are registered (you can't buy a Sim-card without proof-of-identity), McD can always ID you.
AstralWanderer 10th October 2011, 10:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
The sooner this happens in England the better. Children need to know that digital and intellectual theft is the same as physical theft.
While the things you mentioned are the same, it is not theft these people are accused of, but copywrite infringement, which is different.
The issue of "theft vs copyright infringement" has been discussed in some detail before. It's a little depressing to see some posters still swallowing the tripe put out by the media industries, though at least the alleged links with drugs and terrorism didn't get a mention also.

Another point to consider is that disabling Internet access can have a severe effect on people's livelihoods given the number that bank, manage utilities, shop and work online. Inflicting financial distress on a family because of something a child is "alleged" to have done is rather low.
greypilgers 10th October 2011, 12:30 Quote
Seems to me there are three debates:

What is piracy and is it wrong.

What punishment should be meted out and is it appropriate.

Who is to police this 'crime' and how should it be proved.

For me, the answer to the first is apprehending a copy of software or other that you have not paid for the license to use, or been given permission to use without paying, and that it is completely wrong to do so.

The second is slightly more difficult, but I don't think that disconnection from the internet is a workable solution.

The third is potentially even more tricky. I think that the ISPs should certainly be involved, but I don't think all onus should be placed on them. The IP holders should certainly also pull their weight if they want to see things tightened up. I also would NOT like to see solicitors and legal firms in the same mould as ambulance-chasers getting involved, as there has been in the past.
Xir 10th October 2011, 13:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
For me, the answer to the first is ....
correct...for you, this may apply :D

may I bring this into remembrance?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/b/bc/Home_taping_is_killing_music.png
Which was solved by paying a fee on every recordable medium "for home use".
We still pay this fee (in France and Germany anyway), but "for home use" recording is outlawed indirectly. (circumventing the DRM to enable this is outlawed, not the "for home use" copying itself)
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