The Dummies Guide to HadopiJuly 28, 2009 1:01 pm francais
A French cartoonist has explained the effect of the proposed Hadopi 2 law in France:
A law to protect authors
- Suppose you didn’t close the door to your apartment properly.
- Hey! It’s open! We didn’t pull it shut properly?
- And a neighbour came in and stole your DVD collection
- My God! My Harry Potter collection! And all of my Disney collection! Gone!
- He left my three Ozu films… that’s weird. A thief who doesn’t like the Japanese?
- This seriously hurts all the authors of these films
- Do you realise, the thief will be able to watch Snow White without paying! This will ruin Disney!
- You are guilty of “a serious breach of the obligation to monitor access to your multimedia equipment”
- I didn’t know! I thought that Harry Potter protected his DVDs with a magic spell. And that the Hulk beat up thieves with his super powers.
- As punishment, you are thrown out of your apartment for 3 months! (And not just the guilty party, the whole family, even the pet cat)
- I can’t even watch my Ozu any more
- That’s not the worst of it
- lil’cat! Eat this rat, he’s keeping me from sleeping!
- Yeah, right…
- And you’re lucky that we don’t set fire to your apartment
- If it was a house, I’d think about it. But in a 10 story apartment block, we have to wait until everyone is guilty! It takes a little longer.
For some background for non-French people: Hadopi is a law which says that if anyone downloads copyrighted material illegally over your internet connection, your internet access can be cut off for up to 3 months. I believe that you get 2 warnings before it gets cut off, but that the decision is made by an “independent” commission, and not by a judge, so you don’t have any recourse to appeal. The first version of the law was struck down by the French constitutional court, and the law is back with a second wind now.
The goal of protecting copyright holders is not a bad thing. I even mostly approve of the goal – it’s the rule of law by which free software lives and dies. But this is a bad law, badly drafted, and like “security” in airports will have far wider ranging collateral damage than the government realises.