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French ISP Refuses To Send Out Infringement Notices 302

Posted by timothy
from the finest-bureaucratic-tradition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last month it was clear that French ISPs were not at all happy about the whole three strikes Hadopi process in France. Now that the 'notice' process has started, with Hadopi sending out notices to 10,000 people per day, it's hit a bit of a stumbling block. The French ISP named 'Free' has apparently figured out a bit of a loophole that allows it to not send out notices and protect its subscribers. Specifically, the law requires ISPs to reveal user info to Hadopi, but it does not require them to alert their users. But, the law does say that only users who are alerted by their ISP can be taken to court to be disconnected. In other words, even if Free is handing over user info, so long as it doesn't alert its users (which the law does not mandate), then those users cannot be kicked off the internet via Hadopi."
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French ISP Refuses To Send Out Infringement Notices

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:33AM (#33833492)

    I don't see how any ISP can afford to lose 10,000 subscribers a month let alone a a week? With 10,000 notices being sent out per day this is a real possibility.

    No ISP can be held responsible for refusing to put itself out of business.

  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@NOsPam.spad.co.uk> on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:57AM (#33833570) Homepage

    At 10,000+ notices per day it's simply not practical to sue everyone, which was kind of the point behind this law in the first place; to make it cheaper and easier for rights holders to get people without having to do any of those annoying things like gather evidence.

  • by Arty2 (1742112) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:01AM (#33833584) Homepage
    If this applied to certain unfortunate african countries, then murder wouldn't be illegal.
  • by Nursie (632944) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:02AM (#33833586)

    I know, seriously.

    If 10,000 people *a day* need to be notified that they are breaking the law then it's time to reevaluate who the law is for and why it's there. Not streamline the prosecution/judgement process.

    This is ridiculous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:07AM (#33833606)

    It's not refusing to relay, it's refusing to send. Hadopi doesn't want to setup an SMTP server, and asks the ISP to send the letter themself.

    Free is refusing to do so because there is no compensation for the whole thing, including the identification. It cannot refuse to send the info because of the law, but to send the notification, the law REQUIRES that an agreement was made. An agreement hadopi is refusing to do.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:17AM (#33833644)

    Fair enough.

    IF it gets to the sorts of magnitudes they're predicting, then point stands. If huge numbers of your citizens are doing it then you need to take a look at the bigger picture for a while and evaluate things.

    Your evaluation may come back 'it is good and right to combat this, regardless of popular opinion' or it may not, but blindly going the enforcement route ain't so good. And so you get doomed government initiatives like the war on drugs and the current war on copyright infringement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:32AM (#33833704)

    If French courts are anything like courts in the rest of the world, the "spirit" of the law will apply.

    You're not american I hope. The country that allows for endless copyright duration by continuously extending the deadline before anything as small as a mouse falls into public domain even though the spirit of copyright law in the US is to mandate the exact opposite of what is going on?

    And why is that? Because the LETTER of the law requires a finite duration - it just doesn't care what that duration is or if it's obviously being gamed with endless extensions. (the loophole)

  • by mickwd (196449) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:33AM (#33833706)

    Sometime soon, the government will realise that another way of thinking about cutting off "10,000 pirates a day" is cutting off 10,000 voters a day (and their families).

    Seriously, if that 10,000 per day number is anything near to being accurate, there's going to be a political shitstorm about this. Just think of the tens of thousands of adult voters who will think of themselves as having been branded as criminals (not to mention losing their internet access) because of something they didn't realise their kids were doing.

    I suspect this is going to backfire hugely against Sarkozy and the party that brought in this legislation. If it does, expect other politicians in other countries to take note.

    In the long term, if this proves to be a disastrous legislation, it could warn other countries off trying anything similar.

  • by 7-Vodka (195504) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:35AM (#33833716) Journal
    They should have printed the paper on rolls and given it to their customers to wipe their ass with before they sent it over to the RIAA
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:58AM (#33833786)

    IF it gets to the sorts of magnitudes they're predicting, then point stands. If huge numbers of your citizens are doing it then you need to take a look at the bigger picture for a while and evaluate things.

    That basically means the only viable solution left is no more digital music - live performances only.

    If a majority of the population decided bank robbery was okay, does that mean we should re-evaluate if robbing banks is really a bad thing? Of course not!

    People become so crazy, emotional, and flat out insane every time this topic comes up here. Traditionally, pro-pirating trolls moderate any reasonable counter-point so reasonable discussions can never ensure. Hopefully this post will be one of the few exceptions.

    Ultimately, copying someone else's IP, to which you have no rights, means someone didn't get paid. Period. And if you copied it, you have assigned some value to it. Period. At best, it means you've inflicted direct financial harm by devaluing of the product in question. If you doubt me, I encourage you to verse yourself in the basics of economics.

    No bones about it, if you pirate IP, you absolutely are harming the IP owners. Either that, or *everything* published on economics is wrong. The reasonable, safe bet, is the former rather than the later.

    Time and time again the pirate position seems to be, I want it. You can't stop me. Its unlikely I'll be prosecuted. Therefore, I'm entitled to whatever I can take. If you try to stop me, you're a bad person. Hell, look above, someone is openly advocating slaughtering lawyers in one of the threads. When a massive number of people feel entitled to take what isn't theirs, what do you expect is going to happen. Draconian laws are the only likely result. And frankly, you can't really blame them. If you worked and didn't get paid time and time again, you'd be begging for help and relief with the law too.

  • by thijsh (910751) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:00AM (#33833796) Journal

    And yes another provider urged the governement to act to make "Free" comply as they sensed "Free" was gaining a little bit more popularity with this trick.

    Yes! That is exactly what other providers need to realize... but instead of asking the government to fight the other provider, they should fight this draconian law.

  • by PeterBrett (780946) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:18AM (#33833854) Homepage

    Entitlement to cause harm to others is always a bad thing. Sadly, that's the pro-pirate platform.

    No, it's not.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:39AM (#33833940)

    Entitlement to cause harm to others is always a bad thing. Sadly, that's the pro-pirate platform.

    Wow, you say shit like that and then you whine that you get moderated as a troll?
    What priapistic little solipsist you are.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:42AM (#33833944) Homepage

    If a majority of the population decided bank robbery was okay, does that mean we should re-evaluate if robbing banks is really a bad thing? Of course not!

    If the majority decides bank robbery is okay, then you should probably investigate why and will likely have to change the way banks opperate.
    And if 99% of the population likes to rob banks, then you should probably make robbing banks legal.
    The world changes constantly therefore moral values change constantly. Laws should reflect the current moral values of society, not what was once decided many decades ago.

    Ultimately, copying someone else's IP, to which you have no rights, means someone didn't get paid. Period.

    No, it doesn't.
    Many times this WILL be the truth, but you cannot honestly believe that somebody who downloads a dozen movies every week would pay for all those movies if he could not download them.
    1 copy != 1 lost sale.

    And if you copied it, you have assigned some value to it. Period.

    Again, no. For the plain and simple logical reason that "value" is subjective. The person copying may value something at 0$, but that doesn't mean other people will value it similarly.

    At best, it means you've inflicted direct financial harm by devaluing of the product in question.

    No. A lower valuation does not directly relate to financial harm.

    No bones about it, if you pirate IP, you absolutely are harming the IP owners.

    No. The net effect may be neutral or even possitive given an increase in popularity. i.e. MS-DOS.

    Either that, or *everything* published on economics is wrong.

    Not "everything", merely the few highschool economics books that you've been reading.

    Economics is far more complex than you describe.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:43AM (#33833946) Homepage

    That basically means the only viable solution left is no more digital music - live performances only.

    Study finds pirates 10 times more likely to buy music [guardian.co.uk]
    Another Study Finds Pirates Buy More Music [paidcontent.co.uk]

    If a majority of the population decided bank robbery was okay, does that mean we should re-evaluate if robbing banks is really a bad thing? Of course not!

    Ultimately, yes. Either you convince them that they benefit more from not doing so, or you legalize it.

    Ultimately, copying someone else's IP, to which you have no rights

    Says who? You are you to say what person A should share with person B using their personal property?

    , means someone didn't get paid.

    Assuming they would get paid in the other case. Which not only isn't certain, in many cases is definitively not true. Especially when that "someone" has been dead for years.

    And if you copied it, you have assigned some value to it.

    Yes.

    At best, it means you've inflicted direct financial harm by devaluing of the product in question. If you doubt me, I encourage you to verse yourself in the basics of economics.

    So I have when I resell my stuff instead of destroying it.

    No bones about it, if you pirate IP, you absolutely are harming the IP owners. Either that, or *everything* published on economics is wrong. The reasonable, safe bet, is the former rather than the later.

    Again, the only harm is the same as when you resell something. Doesn't mean it should be illegal.

    Time and time again the pirate position seems to be, I want it. You can't stop me. Its unlikely I'll be prosecuted. Therefore, I'm entitled to whatever I can take. If you try to stop me, you're a bad person.

    The position I see is: I bought the CD, I should be allowed to do what I want with my property. Who are you to tell me what I should do with my CD?

    When a massive number of people feel entitled to take what isn't theirs, what do you expect is going to happen. Draconian laws are the only likely result. And frankly, you can't really blame them.

    iTunes dropped the DRM, sales are up. Clearly draconian measures work better.

    If you worked and didn't get paid time and time again

    MPAA revenue has been rising every year, so that's clearly not true for movies.
    Music artists revenue is also [zeropaid.com] rising [torrentfreak.com].

    The only people losing revenue are the labels. Cry me a river over their outdated business model. We should now ban cars for the poor carriage drivers in the unemployment. Or ban cellphones because of the telegraph companies.

  • by Darfeld (1147131) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:46AM (#33833954)

    You sir, are an ugly Troll of your own.

    You're paranoid speech is enough to get you moded down. You could at least wait for the moderator response to begin your rant, but no, it's better to have it tangle with your anti-piracy talk so that any negative moderation look like a pro-piracy conspiracy. At least to you.
    The fact remain that you shoot first. And you're not as cool as Han Solo.

    Now, to respond to your anti-piracy speech, your equation 1 download = 1 lose for the PI owner is really oversimplified and to my limited understanding of the economy look completely wrong. And I'm not speeking for my church, as I didn't download anything copyrighted since several years. (Well, except for some manga stuff that I end up buying when they are edited in my country anyway.)

    My conviction isn't build upon some personal conviction of what people do when they download illegally copyrighted content. Studies show all and the contrary on this subject. That, at least, is evidence to me that it's not as trivial as you put it.

    On a side note, I wonder if it's normal that a PI owner earn money for thing they have done in a long past time and never touch it again since that time. I mean, a sculptor or a painter get paid just once for each of there work. Isn't it a bit unfair? I think the whole system of "artist remuneration" is broken anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:49AM (#33833970)

    And how will they collect that money?
    They would have to sue me for every dime, each month.

    The lawyer costs will be unbelievable for the ISPs.
    I will represent myself for for free for that 50$.
    If I lose, I will still not pay, then they'll have to start another judiciary procedure to get the 50$ from my wages.
    I'll oppose that too, naturally.
    Instead I'll propose paying 1 dollar a month for 50 months, then I will still miss the payments.
    And during all that time, my new ISP will get my money.

    Oh, the fun we will have.

  • 1 pr day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twisteddk (201366) on Friday October 08, 2010 @05:34AM (#33834112)

    This is exactly the reason why in the US, similar action has been limited to only one user pr day, due to the extreme costs put on the ISP.

    In the french case, it's currently 10.000 users daily, and that number will soon rise to 150.000 (!) Imagine costs of say.... 5 euro to locate and send the information to the central location (Hadopi), then imagine sending registeret mail to the users at the cost of... Let's assume 20 euro. Some will have problems getting the registered mail, that's an added cost. Then there's the disconnect process, the court fees etc. All of which gets put on the ISPs. Even if it's only 1% of your users that gets hit with this, you're talking a large percentage of your income, when a broadband subscription can be had for less than 100 euro per year. With the competition amongst providers here in Europe, the budget providers will drown in expenses. I can't see a way for providers to survive without huge pricejumps, which is why I think the legislation is unfair in terms of costs. They're litterally killing the business of anyone following the law.

    Similarly, in Denmark, someone convinced the government that it'd be a good idea to store information on what everyone transmits and sends over a broadband connections with a speed greater than 256kbps, for reasons of investigation and anti-terrorism (because it's a certain fact that terrorists EXCLUSIVELY uses fast broadband connections ?!?!?) This means that broadband connections jumped to more than double the price of the EU average for broadband connections.

    If the accusers would carry the costs, then fine, let them accuse the entire world, let them tap every single IP adress, let them pay for postage to every person on earth, and for everyone to listen to what their neighbor is doing. Let's reinvent the stasi archives and digitize them, if that's what the people wants (!). But the businesses in these cases get everything for free, because the costs have been put on the ISPs, and consequently the consumers. Hopefully, these terrible laws will be repealed, or civil disobedience will become the norm. While I respect the right to protect your property and rights, these rights are extended to individuals aswell, and I feel trampled on when I read about this case.

    My solution: Tell your government how you feel, tell them with your vote, and with your voice. Let them know this is not ok, and ask them to stand up for what's RIGHT. Tell them of injustice. Tell them of the enormous waste of money and time. Ask them to question if a law is for the good of the people, or for big business. The politicians are elected by US, not the corporations. Tell them today. If not now, when ?

  • by shentino (1139071) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:32AM (#33834262)

    Especially when the stuff that lapses into the public domain can then be clawed back retroactively.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:40AM (#33834282)

    You won't get a population that has 99 percent approval rate for the action of going into a bank with a gun and getting money. At that point it's no longer a population, it's an angry mob.

    As far as basic economics go, one of the reasons it's so effective in the real world is that one of its basic assumptions is that people are selfish greedy bastards that care most about themselves.

    It works so well because that's what people are really like.

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:33AM (#33834430) Journal

    I'm with you on this.

    I actually tried to get permission from ASCAP et al to play music in a particular setting. Turns out that there is no way to get permission to play music publicly unless you do so professionally (as in, a DJ or a band).

    There's also no way to get permission to mix your own CDs and compilations unless you do so professionally and sell at least 200 of the compilations.

    Along the way, no one at ASCAP could actually explain the process for getting legal access, or provide any sort of information other than referring me to other people in the organization and in outside organizations, none of whom were able to help or would return phone calls or emails.

    So this is sort of a chicken and egg problem; the music industry *could* solve a lot of piracy by offering a simple, legal access to their catalog by those who want to, but for whatever reasons they choose not to do so.

    So clearly the music industry itself does not assign a significant value to entities who are not large profit centers. In light of this, I really don't understand why they are suing those very people.

    I for one would pay a fee to have full, unfettered, legal access to their catalog as long as the fee was proportional to my income from that catalog, and took into account that what I do has resulted in sales of CDs and individual tracks.

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@gmail . c om> on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:38AM (#33834452) Journal

    In the latest local elections, the first since that law was passed, Sarko's party got disastrous results in the younger demographics. His MPs were freaked out by this, an insider reported. Now they're not exactly the most highly voting demo, but since Sarkozy's core constituency is the 65+, and they tend to eventually die, it does not bode well for 2012.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:42AM (#33834470) Homepage Journal

    Traffic shaping is fine provided its unbiased (i.e. network neutral, but not protocol neutral), and you tell customers you are doing it.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:08AM (#33834590) Homepage Journal

    Ultimately, copying someone else's IP, to which you have no rights, means someone didn't get paid. Period. And if you copied it, you have assigned some value to it. Period. At best, it means you've inflicted direct financial harm by devaluing of the product in question. If you doubt me, I encourage you to verse yourself in the basics of economics.

    If you actually believe this, I wonder why you're posting here. Your post was a clear and obvious invitation to commit exactly the sort of "harm" to you that you're decrying.

    Consider: Here in the US, and most other countries, your message is copyrighted by you. /. even notifies us all of this fact. I don't have a signed paper from you giving me explicit permission to download your copyrighted message, and I haven't paid you any money for your message, so there's no implicit contract. So under US copyright law, I've "pirated" your message, and according to the message itself, this has harmed you (presumably because I haven't paid your expected but unstated price for the license to read your message).

    In fact, I've "pirated" such copyrighted messages here by the hundreds over the last day or two. And I suspect that you've done the same.

    This is one of the reasons that, to most of us, the current copyright laws are absurd on their face. Automatic copyright leads immediately to the situation I've just described. And if we were to obey the copyright laws, we'd have to shut down all online discussions, because none of them have a mechanism to ensure proper licensing and payment for downloading of their (automatically) copyrighted material.

    If you really believe what you wrote, I hope you wake up and start working to prevent any such harm to yourself in the future. The first step is to stop posting (automatically) copyrighted material on online forums. Nobody will ever pay you for the right to download your messages. They won't even bother trying to contact you to see if you'll give them a free license. They'll just download entire pages of messages, like this page, and ignore the massive "pirating" that's involved. So every message you post will result in hundreds or thousands of harms to you. The sensible thing is to stop this harm by doing no more posting here or on any other online forum.

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@gmail . c om> on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:38AM (#33834736) Journal

    The part that is not actually theirs and where they can't easily upgrade ("non-dégroupé"). They're not shaping AFAIK on their fully owned network (unbundled loop).

  • by Nursie (632944) on Friday October 08, 2010 @09:14AM (#33834944)

    Yes, and in places where serious percentages of the population have been involved in mass, discriminatory crime, have you not noticed that they try to go in for reconciliation commissions? Trying to repair and understand whatever it is that caused the damage?

    Or do you think they lock up the 'bad' 50% of the population?

  • when they invented the gun, there was much handwringing about the threat to age old standards of "gentlemanly" combat

    when they invented the automobile, the laws of the road going back millenia had to change

    when they invented the printing press, the middle class was born, religion was challenged, and democracy became possible, and the old feudal systems of centuries was wiped off the map

    and now that they have invented the internet, copyright law has to change too

    disruptive technology changes society, and the law, and arguing against that process is fruitless and nothing more than a demented form of nostalgia

    a system put in place when distributors pressed LPs and cassette tapes does not hold any water in a world where one teenager with a modem has more publishing power globally than time warner, bertelsmann, etc, in 1988

    economically speaking, it simply means that i, by myself, can distribute 10,000 copies of a song or a movie to johannesburg, novosibirsk, kyoto, and belo horinzonte with zero cost and zero effort. that's a game changer my friend. the laws written before the internet about media distribution are now simply neutered and powerless and unenforceable

    morality is not going away. technology simply changes the status quo. you are confusing the death of morality with the death of just a specific economic agreement specific to its technological time that is now antiquated. deal with it

  • by theY4Kman (1519023) <they4kman@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:41AM (#33836572) Homepage

    40% of the remaining population?

  • by shentino (1139071) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:50PM (#33839886)

    All it takes is one greedy bastard to ruin a utopia.

    Utopias require trust. Trust that is very profitable to break in such a situation.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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