[thingist] a rant : France/Sarkozy against online piracy : cut first, think later

Jerome Joy joy at thing.net
Fri Apr 3 08:03:21 UTC 2009

France, a country where the Internet access is cheap with a very good  
quality of bandwith, but ...
France is now one of the sole countries which adopt a anti-freedom  
law against internet users ... against civil liberties and human rights
... and against European rules ...

France voted yesterday a law (Hadopi) that threat internet neutrality  
by removing liberties from french internet users and give that  
liberties for industrial interests.
Hadopi means "High Authority for the distribution of works and the  
protection of rights with respect to the Internet".

The law intend to cut the Internet accesses that are detected as  
being used to download data protected by copyright.
Christine Albanel, France’s Minister of Culture and Communication,  
wants to cut off Internet access for people who are suspected of  
illegal filesharing. Those guilty of illegal downloads will receive  
an online warning, then a letter, and finally have their internet  
access cut off for up to a year if they persist. A newly created  
independent authority, called HADOPI, is to be in charge of issuing  
warnings and potentially cutting infringers’ Internet subscription –  
though it remains unclear exactly how the offenders will be caught.  
On the upside, the entertainment industry will reportedly also drop  
existing copyright protection on French material so that music or  
videos bought legally online can be played on any sort of device.  
Blocking Internet access as a sanction might breach constitutional  
protections guaranteed by the French Constitutional Council (Conseil  
Despite massive lobbying efforts by the French, a 44-member EU  
commission on civil liberties just unanimously voted for securing  
Internet access as a basic human right ...

In 2008, The French government has given the green light to the  
controversial "three strikes" (graduated response) plan, which will  
disconnect pirates in the country from their broadband connections if  
caught downloading illegal material three times. The scheme was  
endorsed by the cabinet of President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said that  
"there is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone".

Any amendment proposed in the direction of a global license, such as  
the "creative contribution" proposed by the socialist Patrick Bloche  
was rejected. The proposed mechanism would have implied a fee paid by  
the Internet subscribers to their ISP for legal downloading of  
copyrighted material. The fees collected could be used to remunerate  
artists for their work. "With a universal licence, the money  
recuperated will not uniquely go into the pockets of the producers,  
which is definitely the case now. Today, artists' royalty payments  
are significantly less, while the (media companies') royalty payments  
are considerably more," said Bloche.

On 24th September 2008, by voting the amendment 138 proposed by  
Daniel Cohn Bendit, European Parliament strongly hit the French  
initiative HADOPI for flexible response. in a letter (http:// 
www.ecrans.fr/IMG/pdf/Lettre_Barroso.pdf), French president, Nicolas  
Sarkozy asked Jose Manuel Barosso (President of the European  
Commission) to drop this amendment.
Jose Manuel Barroso rejected the possibility for the Commission to  
reject it. It is not the role of EC to censorship a decision voted by  
90% of the European deputies, unless democracy is at stake (http:// 
20EUROPA.web.page.MEMO-08.607.pdf). It will be up the European  
Council of Ministers to promulgate or drop amendment 138.

The purpose of Hadopi is to alleviate the courts. Before, there were  
very few prosecutions for downloading copyrighted files, because the  
courts were overburdened. Hadopi was created at the request of the  
majors.  The European Parliament is against this law because it does  
not allow people to defend themselves (or with their lawyer), and  
because the sanctions must be imposed by the courts. (This is not the  
case for Hadopi: sanctions will be imposed by the government and  

The french law goes further than any other country in Europe nowadays  
regarding anti-piracy. You can be held guilty for something you  
didn't do (neighbor hacked in WLAN). That's like being held guilty  
for the damage someone makes that stole your car. That would negate  
the base assumption: everyone is innocent as long as his/her guilt  
has not been proven.
This is not "held guilty" in the legal sense. They are just  
disconnect you before bring to court. This is a proactive measurement  
to prevent further "harm".

The French government (Christine Albanel, French Ministry for Culture  
& Communication) votes for the "graduated response," i.e., the  
possibility that the public authorities will be able to deprive  
"pirate" Internet users of their Internet access. the "Hadopi" law,  
a.k.a the "Olivennes" or "Creation and Internet" (!!!!!) proposal, is  
a disproportionate response to the objective of developing creative  
content online.

The graduated response and the Hadopi proposal are retrograde. They  
tend to confirm the widespread concern that the creative industry and  
its representatives have not yet adapted their activity and economic  
models to the new situation created by the digital environment.

Cutting people off from the Internet prevents them from accessing  
many services, both public and private, such as filing taxes, online  
banking, and even education. It should be recalled that, according to  
European law, a member State cannot interfere unlaterally in
the trans-border supply of electronic services.

The Hadopi proposal and, more generally, the principle of the  
graduated response requires the collection and keeping of phenomenal  
quantities of personal data within the framework of investigations  
into Internet users suspected of piracy. The exact legal scope of this
surveillance is not yet clear. In addition, in France, the data  
concerning alleged pirates may not necessarily correspond to the true  
offenders. Inadequate protection, a loss or the misuse of such data  
could be particularly damaging to the families or individuals

The graduated response is harmful from both an economic and a social  

The proposed measures and sanctions show a lack of understanding of  
what the Internet actually is.

The blocking is arbitrary, upon request of the majors. Majors give IP  
addresses to a high authority, and high authority blocks the Internet  
connection, without legal proceedings. People can not defend  
themselves. It is even impossible to denounce a neighbor who uses our  
wireless connection: the French state provides software to protect  
connections, and it consider that the owner of the connection is  
protected and responsibly. The European Parliament is against French  
law, but no European law has been passed yet (http://eric-diehl.com/ 
blog/?x=entry:entry090331-182629). The French minister of culture  
want several hundred million of sanctions per year without legal  

The french community, and specially art community, is afraid by this  

alternative ?
Certainly there are some breaks in the sanctions of french law  
Hadopi. Hadopi allow censured users to use television, telephone and  
maybe anothers payables services. So, victims will have a lot of  
censured ports, but not all. Some ports will continue to run. Can we  
found a method to override this censorship (with freenet)? e.g.  
encapsulate traffic into VoIP ?
To install a filtering software on your computer to escape the  
sanctions of the Hadopi law ?

a reminder :
Read http://freenetproject.org/philosophy.html item 5:
" The only way to ensure that a democracy will remain effective is to  
ensure that the government cannot control its population's ability to  
share information, to communicate. So long as everything we see and  
hear is filtered, we are not truly free. Freenet's aim is to allow  
two or more people who wish to share information, to do so.

reactions :

articles :

The manifesto "Téléchargez-moi" (Download me), September 2008 (in  


Le projet de loi «Création et Internet» nous préoccupe. Il est en  
total décalage avec notre réalité, bien loin de la «Création» et  
encore plus de cet «Internet» dont il prétend réguler les pratiques.  
Cela dit, il semble très naturel qu’une communauté de cinéastes  
«défendent cette loi sans réserve» et se fendent d’une tribune  
intitulée «Culture ne rime pas avec gratuité» dans le Monde du 8  
juillet. Comme il semble naturel que l’enjeu industriel soit au cœur  
de cette loi.

Sauf que. Depuis les débuts du World Wide Web, nous nous sommes pris  
au jeu de cette mutation et existons 1.0, 2.0, et demain 3.0. Nous  
sommes les créateurs de demain, sans prétention aucune. Très  
sérieusement et depuis longtemps, nous nous posons la question du  
droit d’auteur, celle de la diffusion des œuvres sur les réseaux et  
de leur réception. Tout comme nous nous posons la question de  
l’économie de la création, sur l’Internet et ailleurs.

Ce projet de loi est contraire à nos pratiques, tout comme il est  
extrêmement méprisant des usages et totalement ignorant d’un monde  
simplement contemporain.

-Nous souhaitons qu’un projet de loi intitulé «Création et Internet»  
prenne en compte nos processus de création. C’est un droit.
-Nous désirons partager et être téléchargés, sans filtrage aucun.  
C’est une nécessité.
-Nous espérons que le principe démocratique selon lequel l’œuvre  
existe ou n’existe pas au travers du regard de l’autre s’applique à  
cette multiplicité que d’autres nomment «piratage». C’est une  

L’auteur, le créateur, le spectateur, a muté. L’œuvre est regardée,  
écoutée, partagée, comme jamais auparavant. Et c’est pourquoi  
créateurs et regardeurs ne peuvent être filtrés par une loi obsolète  
et crétine. Une loi qui asphyxie la «Création» et «l’Internet».

Adrien Mondot, Agnès de Cayeux, Alain Escalle, Albertine Meunier,  
Alexandre Perigot, Anne Laforet, Annie Abrahams, Bérénice Belpaire,  
Caroline Hazard, Cécile Babiole, Chloé Delaume, Christian Vialard,  
Christophe Bruno, Christophe Fiat, Christophe Jacquet dit Toffe,  
Claude Closky, David Guez, Dinah Bird, Electronic Shadow (Yacine Ait  
Kaci et Naziha Mestaoui), Emmanuel Maa Berriet, Emmanuelle Gibelo,  
Eryck Abecassis, Etienne Cliquet, Etienne Mineur, France Cadet,  
Franck Ancel, Gilbert Quélennec, Grégoire Courtois aka Troudair,  
Grégory Chatonsky, Invader, Jacques Perconte, Jan Kopp, Jean-Noël  
Montagné, Jean-Philippe Roux, Jérôme Joy, Joachim Montessuis, Julien  
Lassort, Karine Lebrun, Karen O’Rourke, La Boîte Blanche, Louis Bec,  
Luc Dall’Armellina, Luc Martinez, Lucille Calmel, Lydwine van der  
Hulst, Lynn Pook, Martin Le Chevallier, Mathieu Briand, Michaël  
Borras aka Systaime, M. Chat (Thomas Vuille du Collectif Chat),  
Nicolas Boone, Nicolas Clauss, Nicolas Frespech, Olga Kisseleva,  
Olivier Auber, Olivier Le Gal (collectif MU), Pascal Lièvre, Pascale  
Gustin, Paul-Armand Gette, Pavel Smetana, Pierre Beloüin (Optical  
Sound), Philippe De Jonckheere, Philippe Castellin (Akenaton/Doc(k) 
s), Philippe Quesne, Pierre Bongiovanni, Pierre Giner, Ramona  
Ponearu, Roland Cahen, Shu Lea Cheang, Stéphane Sautour, Sylvie  
Marchand (Gigacircus), Thierry Théolier aka THTH, Triny Prada, Valéry  
Grancher, Vincent Elka aka Lokiss, Vincent Epplay, Wolf Ka (Compagnie  
Respublica), Xavier Cahen.

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