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French Senators seek sweeping Hadopi changes

Two members of the French senate, Loïc Hervé and Corinne Bouchoux, have proposed sweeping changes to the country’s so-called Hadopi law, which was introduced in 2009 as an initiative to encourage the development of legal distribution online and to monitor the legal and illegal use of works and items.

Presenting a detailed report to Senate on behalf of its culture, education and communication commission, they argue that Hadopi, as originally envisaged, has failed for a number of reasons, including technological developments, lack of political consensus and lack of public support.

Accordingly, they suggest that an updated, more credible and effective Hadopi has a role to play, alongside other tools and partners.

They say that Hadopi proved to be neither the ultimate solution neither nor an absolute failure, with the reality more complex.

The report proposes:

  • Modifying the graduated response mechanism by replacing the judicial sanction by an administrative penalty to be decided upon and notified by an independent sanctions commission
  • Expanding Hadopi’s powers in the fight against piracy to the finding of violations of copyright by sites massively infringing and the publicising of this information in the form of a ‘black list’, as well as monitoring court injunctions blocking sites.
  • Creating a prolonged withdrawal injunction content infringement reported by rights-holders and entrusting implementation to Hadopi.
  • Making compulsory the organisation, by Hadopi of training modules on the protection of rights on the Internet in postgraduate teacher training schools, developing awareness campaigns in universities, colleges, public service and businesses through partnerships.
  • Limiting the sole public mission of Hadopi to the development and promotion of legal offers
  • Refocusing the mission of study and observation of Hadopi to the evolution of usage and technologies and remove, within this framework, any possibility of automatic right of appeal
  • Clarifying and simplifying the governance of Hadopi based around a single presidency, a general secretariat and four departments: ‘Protection of rights and fight against piracy; ‘Prevention, information and training’; ‘Research into and development of legal offers’ and ‘General Business’
  • Systematically integrating Hadopi into public policy implementation and contractual commitments in the fight against cultural infringement on the Internet
  • Encouraging the European Commission to review in depth the status of web hosts in the E-Commerce Directive of 8 June 2000
  • Encouraging rights holders systematically to use technical solutions for identifying works
  • Implementing, at a European level, financial equity between major digital players.

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