Big Content is celebrating after a study into France’s draconian anti-piracy laws shows that the laws appear to be working.
Although the agency that monitors for copyright violations, HADOPI, sent its first cases to the courts last week, studies show that the appeal of piracy has waned in France since the law was passed
According to AP, digital sales, which were slow to start in France, are growing and music industry revenue is starting to stabilise.
Pascal Negre, the president of Universal Music France, said that French people were starting to understand that Big Content expecutives, er artists, should get paid for their work.
Everyone has a friend who has received an email which warns them they could be cut off. This creates a buzz. There is an educational effect, he claimed.
HADOPI, had sent 822,000 warnings by email to suspected offenders as of the end of December. Those were followed up by 68,000 second warnings, issued through registered mail. Of those, 165 cases have gone on to the third stage, under which the courts are authorised to impose fines of $1840, and to suspend internet connections for a month.
Eric Walter, the secretary-general of HADOPI, claimed that the relatively low number of third-stage offenders showed that the system had succeeded.
HADOPI was given a budget of 11 million euro and employs 70 people, and claims it has seen a sharp decline in file-sharing in France.
The study pointed out that while there was no proof that HADOPI was responsible, the case for a link was shown by the fact that sales of musical genres that suffer from high levels of piracy, like hip-hop, rose much more than sales of low-piracy genres, like christian and classical music.
HADOPI apparently gave Apple more than 13.8 million euro a year worth of iTunes music sales in France.
The law was bought in by President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is finding that post-Sopa supporting such rules is creating opposition.
His rivals are saying that the law infringes on civil liberties and they are finding that they are getting a lot of support. The thinking appears to be, well the US stood up to Big Content why did we hand over our legal system to them?