The French government has taken a particularly strong stance against music piracy. Through the adoption of two programs, HADOPI and Cartes Musique, the French government is aiming to reduce the 1.2 million jobs that could be lost in the European creative market due to piracy.
HADOPI is Franceâ€™s latest legislative attack on piracy. Introduced in 2009, the Loi favorisant la diffusion et la protection de la crÃ©ation sur Internet (law favoring the distribution and the protection of creation on the internet) or Creation and Internet law, is designed to control and regulate internet access, while encouraging compliance with Franceâ€™s copyright laws.
The law created a government agency called the Haute AutoritÃ© pour la Diffusion des Å’uvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet (High Authority of Distribution of Art Works and Protection of the (Copy)Rights on Internet) or HADOPI. It is comprised of nine members: three appointed by the government, two by the legislature, three appointed by judicial bodies and one appointed by Franceâ€™s Superior Council of art and literature.
A significant component of the HADOPI is its graduated enforcement system, or three strikes approach. Under this legislative scheme, France has developed a three-step process to alert individuals of their infringing conduct. The copyright holder, or his/her representative, initiates the process by sending a notice to HADOPI. Â HADOPI then notifies the ISP, who sends an email to the infringing user, stating the time, but not the content, of the offense. A second letter is sent upon the next offense. Upon the third offense, the Internet service provider (ISP) is required to suspend the userâ€™s Internet access for 2 months to 1 year. ISPs are required to provide the infringerâ€™s contact information to HADOPI within eight days or else face fines of â‚¬1,500 (Â£1,271) per day for each unidentified IP address. To date, HADOPI is sending out approximately 2,000 letters per day.
So, is the HADOPI working? The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reports that since the passing of HADOPI, 53% of those who had illegally downloaded stopped or cut back their activity. Further, French music sales decreased at a lesser rate compared to the global market. However, illegal file-sharing is increasing in other areas, such as streaming.
France has also introduced a Carte Musique, a government subsidized card that enables users to purchase 50 euros worth of music for 25 euros. This program, a joint-project by the French government, retailers and Syndicat National de lâ€™Ã‰dition Phonographique, Franceâ€™s RIAA, is targeted at 12-25, with the goal of promoting music purchase and deterring music file-sharing by Franceâ€™s young people. To date, 50,000 cards have been sold. Music analysts have not yet determined the efficacy of this program.