Online piracy is not just a United States-based problem.
France is considering anti-piracy legislation that will create a new enforcement body, the High Authority for Copyright Protection and Dissemination of Works on the Internet. The French acronym for both the pending law and the new potential agency is HADOPI. In response to complaints from copyright holders, HADOPI would track down the internet addresses of infringing individuals and send warning emails and registered letters to first-time and second-time infringers. Upon the third infringement, HADOPI can cut off the infringer’s internet connection for up to a year.
France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy stepped into the rotating presidency of the European Union on July 1. There is conjecture that France will attempt to extend the three-strike policy to individual EU members or the entire EU.
On the other side of the channel, British internet service providers have agreed to join content owners in the fight against online piracy. The British ISPs will send users suspected of unauthorized file sharing warning letters. According to reports, their efforts will halt at letter-writing. There are no current plans to cut off internet connections of repeat offenders.
(Thanks to Courtney Murphy, Esq., who provided research assistance for this blog posting.)