The Inquirer, a British web site that is ground zero for computer industry gossip - Austin American Statesman
FRANCE HAS FINGERED 18 million alleged filesharers in less than a year as part of its Hadopi 'anti-piracy' legislation.
Torrentfreak has reported that since France adopted its so-called 'three strikes' law in October 2010, it has identified 18 million filesharers, however detection is one thing but sending out letters is another. Apparently France sent just 470,000 of those tracked letters in the post, due to resource limits.
The Hadopi agency, which is charged with trying to curb online distribution of copyrighted works, sent the 470,000 letters to first time offenders. As part of the law, it is only after a third alleged offence that a French judge gets to see users' personal details provided by an internet service provider.
Tracking online users is not particularly hard, especially on Bittorrent, and unless Hadopi has 18 million unique users in its database, that figure isn't all that impressive. But while 470,000 letters seems relatively few compared to 18 million accused filesharers, it still represents around 50,000 a month, which is a considerable volume of mail.
Reportedly Hadopi has sent out 'second warning' letters to 20,000 users so far and only 10 have received spine chilling third warning letters, which are now being investigated by a judge.
Those 10 accused French filesharers could be asked to cough up €1,500 and have their internet connections disabled. At present there have been no reports of any French filesharers being disconnected.
France's three strikes law has been widely criticised and is universally detested by internet users, however Nicolas Sarkozy's government has ploughed stubbornly forward in what can only be described as a lost cause in attempting to suppress filesharing. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ