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Hadopi wants to turn to privatised enforcement measures

13 March, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Hadopi für eine Privatisierung der Rechtsdurchsetzung

The French anti-piracy authority Hadopi has produced a new report on how to fight illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material.

This is probably an attempt of ensuring its future as, since its installation in 2009, the authority has not yet proven its efficiency with the so-called three-strikes system, in terms of revenues to the culture industry, and has already cost France tens of millions of euros.

“Some Internet sites, streaming services and direct download sites are specialized in the massive exploitation of illegal content from which they make profits for their own benefit. This report, showing the state of the ecosystem of illegal streaming and direct downloads, explores different ways to fight against the massive exploitation of illegal content.” says the report drafted by Mireille Imbert-Quaretta, President at the Commission for the Protection of Rights (Commission de Protection des Droits).

Hadopi suggests it might rely more on ISPs, search engines, advertising agencies, payment solutions providers, as well as hosting companies which could be asked to implement content recognition and filtering technologies utilizing fingerprinting techniques supplied by rightsholders. These systems can automatically remove infringing content by the identification of their digital “watermarks" or restrict user access based on location.

The report even suggests that a website operator may be itself subject to a strikes-style system in case it refuses to sign filtering agreements with rightsholders and illicit content repeatedly appears. “In the event that it would not be possible to reach an agreement because of the apparent unwillingness of the platform hosting the reported content (to comply with the law), the public authority may decide to correct the behaviour of the platform through an alert procedure,” says the report.

The punishments suggested in the report to non-compliant sites vary from reporting them to search engines for un-listing, to reporting them to a judge in order to begin a domain blocking process. Once blocked by IP and DNS, Hadopi wants to have the power to ensure that domains (and any subsequent mirrors) blocked by IP and DNS remain blocked and even domain seizures are also possible.

Moreover, Hadopi wants to target the financial intermediaries of sites subjected to the copyright alerts procedure If the financial partners refuse to suspend or terminate payments, Hadopi suggests taking the matter to court.

Another idea is that of "a browser plug-in to perform some filtering" to stop users from getting access to copyright-infringing material, or that of using a filtering system directly embedded within the operating system.

The report states it only offers a number of proposals and not final recommendations. In the meantime, Hadopi’s future seems related to the conclusions drawn by Pierre Lescure who has the task from the French government to find ways to protect the country's digital works in the digital age. Lescure's conclusions will be discussed by the French parliament this autumn.

Report on the means to fight illegal streaming and direct downloading (only in French, 15.02.2013)

French Government Mulls Next Generation Anti-Piracy Measures (26.02.2013)

How Hadopi wants to suppress illegal streaming and Direct Downloading by blackmail (only in French, 25.02.2013)

France's anti-piracy watchdog ponders evolution, faces extinction (6.03.2013)

EDRi-gram: Hadopi report says nothing about decreases in sales (11.04.2012)



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