Major French Political Party Wants to Repeal HADOPI

Martine Aubry, the secretary of the Socialist Party, has recently announced her intentions to repeal HADOPI (“law promoting the distribution and protection of creative works on the internet”) – the famous French law that contains a three strikes law.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Numerama is noting some interesting news (Google translation, original) The article suggests that she feels that there is a better way to ensure that artists get paid for the content they create. She proposes a global license to be put on ISPs instead of disconnecting people from the internet based on mere accusations of infringement. More from the translation:

“Fairly, it would be a massive contribution to support culture in France, and to find that balance, I call first in an honest dialogue with all stakeholders,” continues Martine Aubry, who Is also in favor of an adaptation and strengthening of copyright, particularly in the digital sphere. Finally, the fight against counterfeiting business must continue and be intensified.

“Therefore, the war against Internet users who share the same time, they buy – will not happen again. The abandonment of the web laws, expensive, inefficient and against the time, seems to me so self-evident. That’s why we are determined to repeal the “Martine Aubry concludes the chapter Culture and profitable new business models.

It’s not hard to find flaws in a three strikes law. We’ve noted some of these flaws in the past on a number of occasions. One of the major flaws is the inability to conclusively tie a person to an IP address. One example of how flawed pinning an actual person to an IP address can be found in a study which concludes that one could frame a printer for copyright infringement in a BitTorrent swarm.

Global licenses for downloading isn’t necessarily a new idea, however, a number of people have proposed such ideas in the past. I think it’s fair to say that many would also agree that a blanket license over ISPs is better than mass lawsuits or disconnections based on mere accusations. In Canada, one can trace the has been proposing this sort of idea at least as far back as 2008.

The French Socialist Party is no small party either. Wikipedia notes that the party has been around since 1969 in France. As of the last French election of 2009, the party finished second in popular support – second only to the current governing party, the UMP. They obtained 16.48% support while the UMP won with 27.88% support. In short, they are not a small party in France.

What this could show is a growing discontent for HADOPI. If a major political party feels they can gain public support by outright saying that it should be repealed, then it doesn’t exactly cast a positive light to the law itself. It’s not surprising that the law isn’t very popular and it looks like there might be some kind of momentum to ax the law completely. It will be interesting to see if this resonates enough to carry this over in to the next election which is still a long way away.

Do you think HADOPI should be repealed?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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