Solemn burial for HADOPI in French National Assembly

Paris, 12 May 2009 - French "HADOPI" law implementing "three strikes" policy was adopted by a short majority in National Assembly, after a previous rejection on April 9th1. Members of the majority right-wing party of N. Sarkozy, under high pressure, voted this obsolete text, massively rejected by public opinion and directly opposed by Europe. This legislative process' debacle, along with an "hadopigate" case2, opens the way to credible solutions for funding creation in the digital age that have to be compatible with civil liberties3. HADOPI is stillborn, the debate shall begin!

(c) Pakman
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Minister of culture Christine Albanel must be relieved. Her legislative monster was just adopted, after a painful agony, by a short majority (296 in favor, 233 against), by a locked-down parliament and an obedient majority. Yet, even before being put into application after its constitutional challenge that might prove to be difficult, HADOPI is dead and buried:

  • HADOPI is legally dead because it opposes to fundamental principles of French and European law, including the respect of a fair trial, principle of proportionality and separation of powers. European Parliament has also for the 4th time recalled its opposition to the French text by voting again amendment 138/464, thus voiding the French HADOPI. The law is also not respecting requirements of French constitution regarding a due process, equality in front of the law, and legality of the law, which the Constitutional Court will now have to judge.
  • HADOPI is technically dead because it entirely relies on identifying users through their IP address that can be altered or high-jacked in many ways 5. As a consequence, innocents will inevitably be sanctioned. Circumvention techniques are also already largely available.
  • HADOPI is dead in the media because government's propaganda didn't stand for long under close scrutiny from citizens over the net6 and to the aware consideration of a few critical elected representatives.7. A fantastic movement opposing the text allowed public debate to interfere in every possible part of the French web about the real stakes of the funding of creation in the digital age. Today, 60% of the French reject this text according to an IFOP poll8 (33% only agree to the scheme) and a wide opposition9 includes independent movie theaters, hundreds of independent labels, science-fiction authors10 and performing artists11.
  • Finally, HADOPI is dead politically, right in the middle of an "Hadopigate " revealing unhealthy collusion between Minister of culture and big media close to the president Sarkozy, everybody within the majority already understood that this text is a ball and chain they will have to drag along for a long time.

"Government and members of the Parliament of the majority made fools of themselves with their determination to please at any cost the president-king. Instead of a real democratic process, HADOPI would have helped to refocus the debate on the importance of civil liberties in the digital age and the urgency to invent new schemes for funding creation. Artists and authors, including those who once were used by the government and the decaying industries' lobbyists, now have to team up with their public to move along.12" concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.