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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 kthreadd (1558445) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:20AM (#33833448)
    Now how is the system supposed to work if one party apparently cheats, didn't think of that huh!
    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      You cheat, too. Which is what this ISP is doing. Oh wait, that's not what you meant?
    • by Sulphur (1548251) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:42AM (#33833524)

      Ze deville is in ze details, no?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GooberToo (74388)

      If French courts are anything like courts in the rest of the world, the "spirit" of the law will apply. Meaning, the spirit of the law is clear and unambiguous. Such a loophole is in violation of the spirit of the law. Chances are, assuming a reasonably sane court/judge, they will simply tell them to comply with the law and supply the information in question. At which point, failure to comply will result in their arrest followed by whatever penalties apply for violation of the law.

      Basically - yawn!

      • 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)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by shentino (1139071)

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

      • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:35AM (#33833714) Homepage

        I'm guessing you've not visited France much.

        Farmers and fishermen use loopholes in the law to block entire interstates or major ferry ports for weeks on end.

        There is a deep and wide cultural history of using legal loopholes to embellish protest.

        • by AGMW (594303)

          I'm guessing you've not visited France much.

          Farmers and fishermen use loopholes in the law to block entire interstates or major ferry ports for weeks on end.

          I'm sure it won't be long before they start blockading the Channel ports and burning lorries full of British sheep, at least that's what usually happens!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nospam007 (722110) *

        But how will they send them notice?
        The only thing allowed in court is a postal letter sent with a card where the recepient signs for the reception.
        It costs a fortune and if nobody opens the door and/or goes to the post-office to get the letter, you'll have to send a 'huissier' which will have to serve them personally, and who will have the same problems serving the letter.
        Who will pay for this?

        As to the emailing, my ISP for example doesn't have any of my email addresses, how would they email me?

        • 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 arivanov (12034) on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:37AM (#33833934) Homepage

        Rezt of ze world means USA and UK, no?

        Most of the "rest of the world" relative to the aforementioned precedent culprits including France uses the napoleonic law system. This system mandates a strict separation of legislative, judicial and administrative powers. In that system the letter of the law is followed strictly and the courts do not go on inventive sentencing and precedent creation spree which practically replaces functions of the legislative branch. Similarly, the parliament cannot suspend, amend, correct and violate fundamental rights the way the UK does on a casual basis under the pretext that "the parliament is sovereign and cannot be bound". And so on.

        The law will be returned to parliament, amended and "normal service" will resume shortly. However prior to that the courts will not "replace the pariliament" and engage in "inventive sentencing" the way they do in the UK and the USA.

        It is actually more "common sense" than USA and UK because it does not feed endless litigation and appeals of anything regardless how small all the way to the supreme court. It makes the law "stick".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cbope (130292)

        Do you know anything about the courts in the rest of the world, or are you simply assuming that they all follow US courts? Here in Finland for example, it is the Letter of the law that counts. There is no "spirit" of the law and the laws are generally not open to interpretation. The laws are written in clear language, in such a way that they are easily understood by someone with a moderate degree of education. Lawyers are not required to "interpret" the laws. If the law says you are in violation if you do X

      • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@nOSPAM.gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:28AM (#33834424) Journal

        The loophole they're using is not actually a loophole. It's been repeatedly affirmed by the courts that when the gov't has to pay private companies when it passes laws requiring them to do work for them, if what is required of them is not part of their business. Example: wiretaps. Since they're not getting paid, they argue they don't have to do it. It's not just they're not getting paid yet, but the executive order outlining how they should get paid and how it should be calculated hasn't been passed yet. And there are precedents according to which that means this part of the law isn't applicable because of it.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:21AM (#33833450)

    I'm not sure this is a real win. If the user info is turned over, they can still be sued.

    Maybe they don't lose internet ability, but the core problem is still intact.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SolitaryMan (538416)
      Not to mention that this will be fixed in a matter of months.
    • by Spad (470073) <{ku.oc.daps} {ta} {todhsals}> 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.

    • Laws like this are going to push people over to TOR, or Freenet or whatever other new piece of software that guarantees anonymity. The internet pandoras box has been opened for the recording industry. All the king's horses and all the king's men won't fix this.

      • by zproc (1917806) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:20AM (#33833656)
        Some people here in france began using anonymous VPN connections like iPredator or Relakks.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:22AM (#33833664)

        Laws like this are going to push people over to TOR, or Freenet or whatever other new piece of software that guarantees anonymity. The internet pandoras box has been opened for the recording industry. All the king's horses and all the king's men won't fix this.

        IPredator [ipredator.se] works better than I expected. I thought it would be slow as molasses running uphill in winter, but not only is the pipe as fast as my own connection, but guess what you find right at the exit point: plenty of other sharers, making it all appear like you had a direct line to your neighbors. Speed is always maxed out when I us it (purely for testing of course).

        Posting Anon because I fall under that stupid law mentioned above. Cannot wait for the SACEM (French RIAA) and similar to croak and die in their own vomit.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:25AM (#33833462)
    I wonder if France's government has a lemon rule, so if its customers buy a law with a flaw, they can get their money back?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:33AM (#33833490)

    At what percentage of the population breaking a given law does the law become stupid to have around at all?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arty2 (1742112)
      If this applied to certain unfortunate african countries, then murder wouldn't be illegal.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 08, 2010 @05:29AM (#33834094) Journal
        The only country that comes to mind where anything close to the majority of the population were guilty of murder is Rwanda. And you'll notice that Gacaca courts promote reconciliation and often give significantly reduced sentences. So, although murder didn't become legal, the penalty got a lot lower when around 40% of the population was involved in doing it.
    • 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 golden age villain (1607173) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:06AM (#33833594)
        A quick comment, French news are actually mentioning that only a few hundred people were notified. So at the moment we are far away from the 10000 number that was put forward by the right holders.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nursie (632944)

          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.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by GooberToo (74388)

            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 excep

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by leomekenkamp (566309)

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

              Nonsense. Quote from [wikipedia.org]

              Similar to the announcement that ultimately led to the release of Ghosts I-IV, a post on the band's website in April 2008 read "2 weeks!"[73] On May 5, Nine Inch Nails released The Slip via their website without any advertisement or promotion.[74] The album was made available for download free of charge, protected under the same Creative Commons licence as Ghosts, and has seen individual downloads surpassing 1.4 million.[75] The Slip has since been released on CD as a limited edition

            • 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.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by shentino (1139071)

                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 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 Asic Eng (193332)
              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!

              Let's say the majority of the population decides that taxation without representation isn't fair.

            • by Kjella (173770)

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

              No more digital music *sales*. If you think the artists are going to survive by trying to keep their music a secret you can only listen to at a live performance, you are wrong. It'll be advertising. Plus you can ask people who can't come to your performance for donations, sell them merchandise or whatever. It's not like there won't be music to listen to, society would do fine without copyright.

              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 in a democratic country voted for communism, then we probably would have to re-evalute how we think

            • by Nursie (632944)

              "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!"

              Yes, it does. As I say, the answer may well be "this is objectively a bad thing", in which case we need to look at why people are robbing banks, why they think it's ok and what other possible solutions there are to the problem. One of them may be to enforce things a lot more harshly, but if 99% of people are doing it or think its ok then you may have rev

            • by Nursie (632944)

              Also, grow up and stop taking the absolute position, there are many possible answers here.

              Media taxes are already in place in a lot of countries. If these do not entitle you to use said media for 'piracy' then they are unjust. If they do not cover the scale of the copying that is taking place then perhaps they need to rise to cover it.

              Perhaps the profit margins on media need to be cut, drastically. Perhaps the middle men are taking too much. Perhaps the huge centralised media producers cannot survive in a s

            • 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.

            • 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 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 Issarlk (1429361)
          It's just in time for the upcoming presidential election in 2012 too!

          I really hope they aim for 100000 a day soon. Let's see in the election results if there are more artists in France than downloaders.
        • by shentino (1139071)

          The lobbyists will have corrupted everybody on the ballot.

          Kodos and Kang.

        • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@nOSPAM.gmail.com> 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.

    • What if it's the same 10,000 people they notify every day? Didn't think about that, did ya, smart guy?

    • In Rwanda millions killed. So because a very large group did it, it is okay?

      I think I found a flaw in your "bloke in a pub" idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944)

        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?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zproc (1917806)
      Actually with this law, if you get disconnected, let's say for 6 months (add that to a fine), you still continue to pay for the service to the providers.
  • by zproc (1917806) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:50AM (#33833542)
    Hadopi's required / they say they need to send 25 000 notices per day I believe, but actually send 100 for this time. Also, "Free" handed the IPs on paper instead of providing the data digitally like every other provider. 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.
    • Free has often been of the right side of the tracks as a provider: they allowed VOIP at a time when others banned it; they give you static IPs if you ask; they were the first to do TV over ADSL, etc... I'm glad to see them show some spine here, even if it's only to get them some new customers, and even if it won't last.
      • by damaki (997243)
        On the right side? You know they make heavy use of traffic shaping, don't you? Bittorrent, newsgroups and sslv3 stuff are severely affected.
        So long for the right side...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Movi (1005625)

          I'm enjoying Free since i moved to France about 3 months ago, and i don't see any traffic shaping relating to Usenet or SSL, both which i use extensively. The only time i see the link go slower is when i turn on the Freebox HD, or pick up the phone, but that's to be expected.

          If it wasn't for shitty outsourced customer support (i have to run to a forum where the *actual* employees post - ADUF, only then stuff gets fixed) and the shitstorm that is connecting lines with France Telecom, I'd say the package is g

        • by boa13 (548222)

          I've been a customer for five years, and have never suffered from the alleged traffic shaping you mention. I've always been able to use my line to the max, doing BitTorrent, newsgroup, and link encryption, among others.

          The only time my traffic was severely affected was after a tempest, when my line would only synchronize to 100 kbps for a few days, before they made some kind of repair.

          • by damaki (997243)
            I've been a customer for a year and I measured the exact differences between usenet (900 kB/s), usenet encrypted with sslv3 (900 kB/s) and usenet encrypted with sslv2 (1.8 kB/s), usenet over an encrypted VPN (800 kB/s). I have searched for every possible explanation but, with only a minute between each test, it is definitely traffic shaping. These tests were performed multiple times and the numbers were each time in the same range.
            I do not know if they do their shaping on a local basis, but they surely do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_womble (580291)

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

        • 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).

      • ...even if it's only to get them some new customers, and even if it won't last.

        I don't understand what's the problem of them doing something "only to get them some new customers"? They are a company out to make a profit. Of course they are trying to get more customers. The good thing is that they are going at it the right way - by pursuing the good of the customer and not by using dirty tricks, at least according to TFA, I don't know about the traffic shaping others are talking about in this thread.

    • by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:29AM (#33833690)

      They should take it one step further than paper: run the user info through a CAPTCHA generator so that it can't simply be scanned. Claim something about security to justify it.

    • by Don_dumb (927108)

      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.

      That's modern business, get the government to help you rather than doing the obvious thing of doing the same thing yourself.

    • 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
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thijsh (910751)

      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.

  • Free are cool... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @04:02AM (#33833802)

    Free is my isp in france, and I have to say they have a real clue about things at times. The router/voip/tv box they supply works brilliant and is well thought out, they allow proper reverse dns on static ip's, and its easy to get a fixed ip from them with no blocked ports. The only time theyre let down is by the quality of the psu on the modem and the 1st line support. They also run various mirror sites for FLOSS projects, gentoo etc so it makes my life a lot quicker and easier.
    Ive always strongly got the impression theyve got some serious unix geeks on staff who actually get a say in what happens.

    So, given they technically get it, I am not at all surprised to hear they have a handle on the whole hadopi bullshit and are looking for ways to make life awkward for the people trying to implement it.

    • by Movi (1005625)

      Pretty much same opinion here - once it works it's great, but once something breaks - oh the bullshit you have to muddle thru. Not speaking French adds another level of complexity. Thankfully the Free.fr employees on Aduf are very helpfull :)

    • Let's not get too excited here. Free does good things indeed, and I have a good overall opinion on them otherwise I wouldn't be their customer any more; but there are times where they fuck up pretty heavily, such as a couple of months ago, when they provided all of their customer IP ranges to Trend Micro's MAPS for inclusion to the DUL. In essence, they told a major provider of spam rejection lists that no Free customer is allowed to host their own SMTP server -- which is plain wrong: Free customers are all

  • comes the centralized focus of power for those who would declare themselves our moral superiors.

    Of course, thanks to their self-overestimation, they make a major botch of the job.
  • Valiant effort on Free's part, but I have to wonder how long it will be before the French government grabs its ankles for the corporations (again) and fixes the loophole.

  • I read the headline, thought "free.fr" and lo behold, once again it's free.fr.

    Be it transfer limits, FTP hosting, IPv6 pioneering or their user's basic rights: free.fr is the awesome one, the one you only hear good things about.

    If I lived in France, I would subscribe to them and to them _only_.

  • Suck on that you goddamn FUCKERS!

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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