Sixty French net users could have their connection cut for a month after ignoring letters telling them to stop infringing copyright. They are the first to reach the end of the controversial ‘Hadopi’ process France operates to tackle pirates.
About 650,000 people have received one warning and a further 44,000 are on their second warning.
The statistics were revealed in the annual report of Hadopi (Haute Autorite pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet) which was set up in January 2010 but only began sending out letters to suspected infringers in October of that year.
A government advisor is set to visit the 60 people who have ignored warnings to find out more about their circumstances. The information gathered during the interviews will determine whether a case file is passed to prosecutors. Those convicted have to pay a fine of €1,500 or have their net link disconnected for up to a month.
Hadopi boss Marie-Françoise Marais said research it had done suggested the letters it was sending out were acting as a deterrent. However, she added, the results had to be taken with “caution”. Marais said Hadopi was looking into reports that some file-sharers had turned to different technologies to avoid detection and keep on infringing. So far, she said, the agency could not pursue those people because the law only requires it to monitor peer-to-peer services.