back to article France to draft blacklist banning alleged piracy websites – what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

France looks set to increase funding and power for its controversial piracy-battling Hadopi agency. Hadopi started life as a law to stamp out the illegal sharing of copyrighted stuff – primarily by sending warning emails to people caught pirating movies, games, and so on: after three strikes, your ISP is supposed to boot you …

Pirate

Vive la revolution!

So, pretty much what we've already tacitly accepted in the UK then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vive la revolution!

Yeah, I guess Putin is having his last laugh. After all, the whole western world is doing what he started in Russia when he came to power 15 years ago.

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Silver badge

Re: Vive la revolution!

Nothing revolutionary from Putin. He's just following in the footsteps of his idol Stalin but updated slightly for the Internet.

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Facepalm

Re: Vive la revolution! - Don't you really mean "La révolution est morte"?

@ Annihilator

A case of Democratic Entropy perhaps?

Tacitly or or otherwise isn't the real issue. The UK and other Western "Democracies" perceive 1789-90 as ancient and irrelevant history despite all the contrary rhetoric. Today, the sentiments Liberté, égalité, fraternité have little relevance for citizens and in practice are all but ignored by governments, et al.

200 or so years ago in the Enlightenment, these ideals supposedly applied to us hoi polloi one and all--at least in theory. Today, however, they've moved on to only apply to corporates and the powerful (as here) who now 'own' them as some form of divine entitlement.

Of course with France it's especially poignant. ...But then France was first in modern times, wasn't it? So it's not unexpected that we'd find Democratic Entropy beginning there first.

Democracy is still alive and well, it's just that it has shifted its allegiance to a 'better' class of people.

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Pirate

Piracy Websites?

Oh, that will be anything ending in .fr then

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France, UK, Sweden...

All western democracies seem to be falling over themselves in their eagerness to kill Freedom of Speech. Such an annoying right, much better to Think Of The Children(tm) and remove it.

Bizarrely, pretty much the only western country not doing this is the USA, home of the NSA wiretap.

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Mushroom

Re: France, UK, Sweden...

Unless you're a whistleblower or journalist. Even worse, both. Then it's a kangaroo court and prison. This administration, Department of Justice, has prosecuted (and persecuted for that matter) more people than all the previous ones combined. The Espionage Act of 1917 is a particular favorite of theirs as is warrantless wiretapping of journalists.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: France, UK, Sweden...

Journalists in France are very placid (except the one from Le Canard Enchaine).

First of all, they are all married with politicians (or sleep with them anyway).

Second, the guy who owns the company employing you does not want you to make too much waves (see following reason).

Third, if you do not understand how misplaced your question can be, it is likely you end up with a "fiscal control" (or your boss, therefore, he will make you understand what is in your interest).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: France, UK, Sweden...

Yeah. Because stealing a movie is free speech.

Are you Russell Brand?

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Silver badge

Re: France, UK, Sweden...

"Yeah. Because stealing a movie is free speech."

I agree with your sentiment on this. Stealing is not free speech.

"Are you Russell Brand?"

And then you blew it right there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: France, UK, Sweden...

"Yeah. Because stealing a movie is free speech."

The free speech issue is the momentum behind the massive censorship currently underway to prevent the prolletariet from finding out information that they are "not allowed to know".

Here's a good starter for ten:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Websites_blocked_in_the_United_Kingdom

and that excludes the millions of links that Google removes every month to save us from the sky falling in.

It's almost as if the Chinese are blazing the trail for the West, but when Call me Dave sees them as a role model, what else can you expect? It's just not the freedom that millions of people died to preserve...

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Anonymous Coward

The NSA wiretap is only for Europe...@Vociferous

otherwise your country spies on US users so neither breaks the "Law".

SOME of us still believe in Freedom of Speech here. The Dummycrats however are in league with your "Think of the Children" groups. They want us to have the same restrictive laws you have.

They can go to hell!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The NSA wiretap is only for Europe...@Vociferous

"They can go to hell!"

Surely that's already filled with Republicans?

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Re: The NSA wiretap is only for Europe...@Vociferous

"Surely that's already filled with Republicans?"

Don't worry, they're already contracting out for expansion.

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Anonymous Coward

just as Turkey and Italy

but the truth is, the French won't do it, because the Brits do it!

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Joke

This just in...

A race is on for the quickest domain registry with the fastest DNS propagation. Churn blacklist, churn! (Me? I VPN all over the damn place just like all the other tens of thousand around me that live here and work in Silicon Valley.)

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Competencies of Hadopi?

Remind me again, what have you managed to actually achieve with that budget? Remind me again why I am paying taxes to fund a government agency to do the copyright holder's enforcement for them? Remind me why spending this sort of money hassling "pirates" is better than, say, providing more textbooks for schools, or libraries with actual books in them (instead of throwing the books away and replacing them with rows of computers)? Remind me why schools are closing out here in the countryside, and it is ever harder to find a doctor or dentist.... oh, I know, lack of money and incentive.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting copyright piracy. Instead I'm pointing out that in the current and woeful economic situation, there are many better things that could be done with that money than this shit.

Oh, and Fleur? Your boss? He's like the most disliked President ever in the history of France. If he keeps this up, we might end up with bloody Sarko back again...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Competencies of Hadopi?

More likely Marine LePen

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Competencies of Hadopi?

Nail on the head!

Although you got it wrong about not supporting piracy, did anyone watch the new Robocop? The movie industry should be paying us to watch drivel like this never mind the other way round!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Competencies of Hadopi?

Sorry....someone held a gun to your head and forced you to go see "Roboflop"? No. But I bet you downloaded it anyway just so you could complain about it.

It's really simple. If you don't want to pay the price to go see a movie, don't see the movie. I am really sorry that such a simple concept is utterly beyond you.

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j j

welcome to TOR, France

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"However, if these intermediaries are made aware that a download source has been deemed “manifestly illegal” by the Hadopi agency, they could become liable if access to the content is not blocked quickly enough. A published blacklist could suffice to prove intermediaries knew a certain website or file was unlawful"

There are two big problems/questions here.

First, what criteria does 'Hadopi' use to decide that a particular download source is "manifestly illegal"? Is that criteria available and able to be challenged? Is there oversight? Do they have a body with sufficient expertise in the relevant laws as well as the technical background to make these assessments accurately and with consistency?

Second, how are these 'sources' identified and published? Are they specific links or specific file names? If so, what happens when a link is changed by one character?

These types of schemes are always about putting the onus onto the websites and this is the wrong approach. The goal, of course, is to make them (the websites) overly cautious and heavy handed when policing the links to make sure they are complying. The only way to make it fair is to publish this blacklist as EXACT, specific links in such a way that sites can do simple searches.

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Anonymous Coward

Le whack-a-mole

Que les jeux commencent!

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My niece in France and all her schoolmates seem to be able to watch any movie they like free - don't ask me how, I only work in IT.

But if any agency were to go after her and her mates, they'd find no-one has a cent between them to pay in fines. Ain't going to happen this way.

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Re:"in France"

I thought that was the intended function of Hadopi.

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Anonymous Coward

Garnish their wages/dock benefits, jail them, seize assets for sale. If they are below 18, go for the parents. Simple

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Bronze badge

What is the definition of CW? I own something so you cant use it!

Right I own the CW word "THE" so everyone on this site pays be or you all get blacklisted.

Sign... modern day maffia

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Anonymous Coward

"CW" I assume to mean "C" or "CR" as in "copyright" i.e. the right to make copies; a time limited period in which the *CREATOR* of a work can seek to profit from it. Think patents but for media.

You can't copyright "THE" as you didn't create it. You could, possibly, trademark specific uses of "THE" or even patent a specific use of "THE" if it was a physical thing and you were using it in a novel and non-obvious manner.

If protecting copyright is being "mafia", then download illegal content is a street mugging.

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So, will we see a ban on the search engines who share an unprecented amount illegal of links or will we see massive sums of money being exchanged to cover there ass's?

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Anonymous Coward

The people who maintain any site that links to illegal content should be arrested for aiding and abetting. If that means Larry Page goes to jail, so be it.

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Anonymous Coward

Good news

Hopefully they can pass legislation to make the act of downloading stolen material a criminal offence as well.

It's high time we stamped on these thieves hard, before the creative industry totally collapses.

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Pirate

Theft/Piracy

There is no copyright theft and definitely no piracy, there is only copyright infringement which is, or should be, a civil matter. By using taxpayer funds to investigate taxpayers and other companies the French government is subsidising large, multinational companies. I would have thought the French had more pressing matters to deal with than splurging cash to save companies paying lawyers going to court to protect their copyright, but what do I know...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

Oh, so you work for free do you? Out of the goodness of your heart?

Writers, singers, actors, camera people, runners, caterers etc all need to get paid. This payment comes from the sales of the movie/song/whatever. By uploading and downloading without paying you are stealing there salary from them. It is that simple.

Ask yourself how happy you'd feel if you saw your hard work, which you expect to put food on the table, getting passed around and copied with you not seeing one cent. Be ecstatic would you? No. You'd be livid.

But as long as you are screwing over someone else....it's fine.

Pathetic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

@AC

You sound like you believe you have some god given right to an income... oh this is France, I forgot.

But in the real world, you have no such right, just the right to the opportunity to an income - same as the rest of us* on the planet.

*Politicians, lawyers, judges, bankers, criminals excepted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"You sound like you believe you have some god given right to an income... oh this is France, I forgot."

Nope. If people don't want the stuff, don't watch/listen to the stuff.

What they should not do is acquire it without paying.

I am sorry that the concept of getting paid when ones' work is consumed seems alien to you.

Enjoy providing your labour for free.

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Re: Theft/Piracy

Even so, this is not "theft", or "piracy". I would challenge you to find a single conviction for "stealing" a movie via download. Copyright infringement is a serious challenge for the creative industries, but it is still a civil, not criminal, matter. And taxpayer money should not be spent on curbing an invented economic problem.

Whether people want to pay the price the movie and music industries are asking for their content is an ongoing recalibration. The music industry is certainly further along the path. The movie guys still have their heads firmly in the sand. They still have to face the fact that the public just does not agree with the value they place on their output.

Most of my friends will only go to the cinema once or maybe twice a year. Otherwise, they might wait for the DVD or for it to be on streaming or even iTunes. A fair few of them will torrent it first and then buy it if it was good enough to justify wanting to watch it a second time.

Through any route, bums on cinema seats are falling, because people do not want to pay what the studios are demanding.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"I would challenge you to find a single conviction for "stealing" a movie via download."

You semantic word play is so amusing. Would you go and explain to the people who have lost their jobs because of piracy that their livelihood wasn't stolen from them. I am sure it will make them feel so much happier.

"taxpayer money should not be spent on curbing an invented economic problem"

Just because it does not affect you does not mean the problem is invented. Theft of movies costs jobs. Sure, some movies are crap and that also costs jobs. That's the risk on takes. What one should not accept is people stealing the content, watching it without paying and then coming on to the Internet when other try to protect their income.

"A fair few of them will torrent it first and then buy it if it was good enough to justify wanting to watch it a second time."

*IF* it was good enough? They are thieves, nothing more. I hope they get caught.

They should read some reviews first. If it's good enough to torrent (which includes uploading, so they are doubly thieves) and watching even once; it deserves getting paid for. Items release under Creative Commons or similar excepted of course.

"Through any route, bums on cinema seats are falling"

Irrelevant. DVD, Blu-Ray, Cable, Streaming...all are perfectly legit and mean those who worked to create the asset still get paid.

If you won't pay to watch a movie (and I'll type this slowly so everyone can keep up) Don't. Watch. The. Movie.

Not hard, is it?

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Re: Theft/Piracy

"Oh, so you work for free do you? Out of the goodness of your heart?"

Hello there, astroturfer. You need to brush up your reading skills and maybey your knowledge of the law. The OP simply pointed out that the correct term is copyright INFRINGEMENT.

Theft is the taking away of something in a manner that permanently deprives the rightful owner of it. Theft is a criminal offence and if the theft is reported and the culprit detected could result in a criminal trial. Pursuing the criminal is at the state's expense and, of course, whether and how vigorously that happens would depend on available resources.

You download a copy of something? It's only a copy, the original is still in the possession of its owner. You've infringed the copyright but not committed theft. That, in most of the civilised world, is a civil offence. The copyright owner is entitled to pursue you for damages - at their own expense, initially.

There are remedies for the injured party in copyright infringement. The OP said nothing about working for free. Now you've been told about the differences between theft and infringement go back, read the OP and try to find anything that justifies your comment.

And then consider this. The French have set up an agency to take action on infringement - a civil matter at the state's expense. Who's working for free? The state is working for free on behalf of the copyright owners. If you don't think people should work for free you should complain about that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"Not hard, is it?"

Nope. But in the real world, maintaining the status quo is not an option. Dinosaurs go extinct.

People generally lose their jobs because they are not providing a competitive service.

The media industry would rather their wasn't any competition, so they could carry on paying inflated salaries to their executives, films stars and musicians (in that order).

When the public has the opportunity to not pay Tom Cruise tens of millions of dollars for his "contribution", not surprisingly they take it. They are essentially voting with their (millions of) feet when it comes to not supporting government instigated monopolies.

Another example of this is in countries where it is illegal to provide a cheaper alternative to the state run telecoms. In your narrow minded view, this would be theft, and competitors should be banged up. Or lending books to friends and family - theft in your book.

Everyone else begs to differ - the CUSTOMER defines value, no one else.

You're going to have a real problem when 3D printing takes off aren't you? Would you rather they were under state control, or banned altogether?

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Re: Theft/Piracy

"You semantic word play is so amusing"

No it isn't semantic word play. It's the law. Go and read up about it. Not hard, is it?

"Theft of movies costs jobs"

Theft of movies would be someone taking the film and not giving it back. You were challenged to find an example of that happening via a download. We're still waiting.

You keep complaining of people being deprived of their rightful dues. It's a fair complaint to make. It's simply that you'd have an easier row to hoe if you made the effort to take notice of what you're being told. And your industry would find it easier to make money if they actually took the trouble to find out what the market wants in terms of accessibility and what it's willing to pay. At present they seem to have an outsize sense of entitlement based on an outsize sense of their own worth.

Disclaimer. I have no interest in watching your industry's product by download or any other means. I haven't read of any film I'd want to see for a long time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"People generally lose their jobs because they are not providing a competitive service."

And that's fine. Well, losing a job is never fine but it's to be expected if you don't provide what people want.

But they are being given what they want which is why the movies etc are getting stolen by torrents. Those using torrents (other than for legit purposes) are thieves and should be treated like any other piece of low-life scum.

"Everyone else begs to differ - the CUSTOMER defines value, no one else."

Incorrect. The market defines the value, that market is made up of consumers and providers (demand/supply). It's not the one-sided bargain you make out.

"You're going to have a real problem when 3D printing takes off aren't you? Would you rather they were under state control, or banned altogether?"

I have no issue with 3D printing technology. If someone uses it to steal another's work, I expect the someone to be dealt with harshly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"Theft is the taking away of something in a manner that permanently deprives the rightful owner of it."

I am glad we agree. Hard working people have had their wages stolen from them by torrenting etc. That is theft. The mechanism for that theft is neither here nor there.

And you expect the injured party to chase down every single person on the planet who has played their part in stealing their wages? Good grief.

"I'm sorry you were robbed Doctor Syntax, track down the burglars and prosecute them yourself would you; there's a good prole." You wouldn't like that, would you? Yet that is exactly the bargain you place on creatives.

But hey, doesn't affect you so why should you care?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"Theft of movies would be someone taking the film and not giving it back."

So tapping an electrical line isn't these because no electrons are permanently removed? They just went bank and forth? HEY EVERYONE! No electricity bills ever again! The electric co still have their electrons.

Movies are electrons. Shooting/editing a film is the power station & fuel. Paying for watching the movie is paying your utility bill. Torrenting is tapping the line and taking without paying anything for up-keep and increasing costs for everyone else.

It really is that simple. It's theft.

"they actually took the trouble to find out what the market wants"

That's easy, just check a few torrent sites.

"in terms of accessibility"

Also easy. Hulu, Netflix, AmazonPrime...what more do you want?

"what it's willing to pay"

Back to torrents again. Easy, nothing.

If the industry charges too much, or doesn't provide it in the correct way the answer is simple; DO NOT CONSUME. The market will adjust or a new player will enter. That's how it's supposed to work.

Stealing simply removes any need for a market and destroys the source. That makes us all poorer.

"I have no interest in watching your industry's product by download or any other means. I haven't read of any film I'd want to see for a long time."

Which is totally fine. A product you aren't interested is a product you aren't interested in. What is not fine is stealing. Pay for what you consume.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"Everyone else begs to differ - the CUSTOMER defines value, no one else. Incorrect. The market defines the value, that market is made up of consumers and providers (demand/supply). It's not the one-sided bargain you make out."

And that is the the media industry's problem in a nutshell.

The customer IS the market. The price a supplier puts on a product is irrelevant - it's VALUE that is key, and that is always defined by the customer. Period. It's entirely one sided.

And very, very simple. It's been like that since the beginning of time*.

*Communist states excluded.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"I'm sorry you were robbed Doctor Syntax, track down the burglars and prosecute them yourself would you; there's a good prole." You wouldn't like that, would you? Yet that is exactly the bargain you place on creatives."

In the UK, that's exactly what the proles are being told:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/04/police-telling-victims-solve-crimes-themselves

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Re: Theft/Piracy

"The market defines the value, that market is made up of consumers and providers (demand/supply). It's not the one-sided bargain you make out."

In the black and white case that you make out, yes it is. If you eliminated all the people torrenting, copying DVDs and those who grey-import BDs (they still pay for it, but it's against the Studios' T&C), then you have a high-price product that not-enough people will pay full price for. How long do the Studios last then? They need mass ticket sales, otherwise the, to be frank, pap that makes up 90% of their output will make a loss.

There is even a case that, as with music, torrents INCREASE sales. Joe might not want to take his 3 little girls to the cinema, but they really want to watch Disney Princess 14. So he torrents it, they love it and he buys the DVD for their bedroom. Or they don't like it and he saves his cash.

Another case of the customer deciding (with the help of a torrent) the value of the content; less than £45 for cinema tickets, more than the £15 for a new release DVD, or no value because they don't want to see it again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"The customer IS the market."

Oh gods, basic economics. Here we go.

Supply - the things being brought to market. There's costs with those things. Let's say they cost £X to produce and get to market. A bit of profit, so the seller punts them up for £Z.

Demand - Customer comes along. Likes product. Doesn't like £Z, offers £Y.

Price setting - The seller can accept or refuse.

If they accept, then the value of the product is £Y.

If they refuse, there is no market for the product. They either need to reduce costs or change their expectations.

The problem for the creative industry is that Y is a big, fat ZERO when people torrent. That's simply never going to fly.

It's not a market, it's theft of the entire market!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theft/Piracy

"then you have a high-price product that not-enough people will pay full price for. How long do the Studios last then?"

It wouldn't be high price as the fixed costs would be spread out amongst many more people (all those who used to steal). If the price still remained high then yes, some companies would go to the wall. BUT I put it to you that that wouldn't happen, other players would enter to the companies would alter their processed.

"There is even a case that, as with music, torrents INCREASE sales."

There really isn't, that's propaganda put about by those with a vested interest in keeping torrenting going; i.e. making money by helping to steal from others.

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Re: Theft/Piracy

"Hard working people have had their wages stolen from them by torrenting "

No, they don't. Studios lose money and jobs are cut. This is caused by falling sales, which are blamed on torrents. There's no proof. What if they made a film and nobody went to see it? Is it because everyone torrented it, or was it just utter shite? There is absolutely no proof that torrents remove money from workers' bank accounts.

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Re: Theft/Piracy

"Hard working people have had their wages stolen from them by torrenting etc. That is theft."

When someone gets a conviction in court for that I'll believe you.

It's just that when a case gets to court you need to get the law right. And I don't think you have because when it comes to "track down the burglars and prosecute them" I used to be involved in that for a living.

Any way, I hope you're being paid for all your hard work here. But you really should register and get yourself a proper handle. Can I suggest Humpty Dumpty? Then you'll be more convincing when you insist that words mean exactly what you want them to mean.

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