France surrenders on three-strikes law surrender

While the world was mulling if it was a good idea to surrender to Big Content and bring in a three strikes law against P2P pirates, the French were one of the first to get enthusiastic about it.

At the time, the movie industry had an ally with the pint-sized Nicolas Sarkozy as the French president and he loved being seen at the Hollywood parties in the South of France with his wife Carla Bruni.

He rushed through a three strikes law, dubbed HADOPI after some pesky constitutional problems and was permitted by the studios to hang out with stars on the French Riviera.

Saying that the law was unpopular was an understatement. In fact it was one of the reasons that the French public decided Sarkozy was for the chop.

Now it seems that the French culture minister has issued a decree modifying the graduated response scheme and removing the disconnection penalty.

In other words, while HADOPI is still with us, it will not be possible for P2P pirates to be cut off from the net.

According to a French legal blog, under the graduated response mechanism introduced in 2009-2010, French courts were able to disconnect people who had been found guilty of file-sharing for up to one month.

So far, only one such disconnection has been ordered. It will probably be the only one.

Instead P2P pirates will be fined up to €1,500, as before. Courts can disconnect for up to one year in more serious cases of copyright infringement.