French ISP stages its own anti-piracy revolution

A French ISP is staging its own revolution against its government’s anti-piracy laws.

According to TorrentFreak, Internet users in France have started receiving emails in the last week connected with the controversial Hadopi legislation.

Hadopi, which stands for High Authority for Dissemination of Works and Protection of Rights on the Internet, was brought in by Nicolas Sarkozy’s government last year. It operates a three strikes and you’re out policy, and after three email warnings internet users can find themselves facing a fine or have their internet connection cut.

These first Hadopi emails, sent to anyone suspected of file sharing, have been upsetting the French.

TorrentFreak reports that ISP Free has refused to send out the emails, which apparently start off in the following manner: “Attention, your internet connection has been used to commit legally-noted acts that could constitute a breach of the law.”

But Free says it is not obliged by law to forward them to subscribers.

Guillaume Champeau, editor of French news outlet Numerama, told TorrentFreak: “The thing is, the HADOPI and most ISPs decided it was more convenient and secure to use the ISPs’ SMTP [mail] servers [for sending out warnings].

“But ‘Free’ did not agree to Hadopi using its SMTP servers without a signed agreement, which apparently was refused, probably because they required payment or other forms of compensations.”