Tag Archives: hadopi

French Govt. Has Sent 644,000+ Piracy Notices in 2019, Secured 86 Criminal Convictions

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/french-govt-has-sent-644000-piracy-notices-in-2019-secured-86-criminal-convictions-191003/

In 2010, France became a pioneer of the so-called “graduated response” system for dealing with online piracy.

The plan was to deter users of peer-to-peer systems like BitTorrent to refrain from sharing copyrighted content by sending them escalating warnings, with the ultimate threat of Internet disconnection or other punitive measures.

The system is overseen by government agency Hadopi, the High Authority for the Distribution and Protection of Intellectual Property on the Internet. Periodically the agency publishes its progress in the field, with the latest report made public this week.

Covering the period between January 2019 to August 2019, the report shows that Hadopi has been kept busy. The headline figure is that 479,177 Internet users received an email indicating they’d received a ‘first strike’ after allegedly sharing copyrighted material online without permission.

The next step up the ladder, the so-called ‘second strike’ notices, are sent to individuals who reportedly carried out a repeat infringement within six months of the first. Hadopi says it sent 165,683 of these to France-based Internet users by both email and physical letter, making a grand total of 644,860 notices sent overall.

The so-called ‘graduated response’ means that after each warning there is an escalation of seriousness with the authorities. So, after a ‘third strike’ in a 12 month period, Hadopi can refer cases to the public prosecutor.

Between January and August this year, 1,149 such cases were sent to the judicial authority. This is a considerable increase over the last set of published figures which showed that 1,045 similar cases were referred during the whole of 2018.

Of the 1,149 cases referred, Hadopi reports there are 387 known outcomes thus far. A total of 301 cases were settled without criminal prosecutions, with 199 people being cautioned. 64 cases were settled with fines of between 100 euros and 500 euros alongside a citizenship course, with the remainder dealt with in other ways.

A total of 86 cases ended in a criminal conviction. These included 31 sentences for “gross negligence” resulting in fines averaging 350 euros plus 300 euros in damages. These appear to have been cases where Internet connections were repeatedly used to infringe, without the connection owner taking preventative measures.

Of the 86 convictions, 47 concluded with repeat infringers receiving fines ranging from 150 euros to 1,000 euros.

Hadopi’s report for the first eight months of 2019 can be found here (pdf)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

France Plans to Merge Anti-Piracy Agency With Media Regulator

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/france-plans-to-merge-anti-piracy-agency-with-media-regulator-190905/

France has been working hard to disrupt online piracy for more than a decade, largely through the efforts of local anti-piracy agency Hadopi.

After many years of planning, in 2010 France became a pioneer of the so-called “graduated response” system, whereby persistent copyright infringers could eventually find themselves disconnected from the Internet.

The entire project was overseen by Hadopi (High Authority for the Distribution and Protection of Intellectual Property on the Internet), the government agency responsible created to ensure citizens comply with relevant anti-piracy laws.

Hadopi has made the headline numerous times over the past 10 years, largely reporting on progress in its field. However, Hadopi’s main goal was to reduce illicit sharing on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent, which has in many instances given way to streaming equivalents in the interim.

In an announcement this week by the Ministry of Culture, it transpires that a new bill foresees Hadopi merging with another powerful government agency in the near future

The CSA (Conseil Supérieur de L’audiovisuel / Higher Audiovisual Council) – is the local authority for the regulation of electronic media in France, including television. It’s envisioned that a merger between Hadopi and CSA will create a brand new organization with even greater powers for regulating all things digital.

According to a Reuters report, the merger project will be presented to the Council of Minister in November before arriving at parliament early next year.

“The idea is to create a new authority based on this merger that regulates both audiovisual communications and digital communications,” said Franck Riester, France’s Minister of Culture.

Earlier this year, Riester noted that the convergence between the Internet, television, and radio needed to be addressed. This planned merger seems a clear attempt to bridge the gaps although what it will mean for anti-piracy enforcement will remain to be seen.

A July 2018 report indicated that not only were French pirates on the wane (down from 11.6 million in 2016 to 10.6 million in 2017), many were increasingly turning to legal sources such as Netflix.

Those that were still determined to pirate were also downloading and streaming less unlicensed content, with consumption down by 4% and the number of pirates without access to a legal subscription dropping by 30%.

A more recent report, published this June, indicated that in 2018 the agency had dealt with 50,000 to 70,000 instances of Internet users unlawfully and repeatedly making content available on peer-to-peer networks.

“[D]uring the three phases of warnings sent to Internet users, 60% of them were no longer accused of new illegal acts,” Hadopi said, citing the scheme’s effectiveness.

Nevertheless, calls remain for enforcement to be stepped up, including via the use of blacklists that would help to restrict access to unlicensed streaming sites via ISPs and search engines, while encouraging advertisers to boycott the platforms.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

24% of French Internet Users Stream Live TV Content Illegally

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/24-of-french-internet-users-stream-live-tv-content-illegally-190528/

Just over a decade ago this month, France adopted new legislation allowing the country to more easily crack down on Internet piracy.

The so-called Hadopi law, which also spawned a government anti-piracy agency of the same name, was initially focused on the threat posed by peer-to-peer file-sharing systems, BitTorrent in particular.

However, ten years is a long time and since then, live streaming has stormed onto the scene as a convenient way for the public to view both licensed and unlicensed content. As a result, Hadopi is now taking an increased interest in how the latter is consumed online.

The findings of a new study carried out by Hadopi in conjunction with market research company IFOP, reveals that almost a quarter of French Internet users (24%) now access live TV programming illegally.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, streaming sites are the most popular locations, with 17% of all respondents admitting to using them to access live TV. Social networks prove slightly less popular at 14%, with just 5% admitting to using a dedicated IPTV device or application.

Platforms falling into the streaming site category are web-based affairs, often with embedded players, such as RojaDirecta, StreamonSports, and FootStream.tv etc. Of those using these services, 52% say they do so more than three times per week.

How live streaming sites work, as per Hadopi

The social network category is populated by services such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, or Periscope, where Internet users share pirated streams of live content with each other. Six out of ten (61%) of these users admit to accessing streams more than three times per week.

The third category, IPTV, is defined as a service that’s accessible via devices including smart TVs, dedicated boxes, smartphones, tablets, or software. These provide users with access to often premium channels that would usually be available as part of a legal package from an official provider.

Almost three quarters (73%) of these users admit to using these services in excess of three times per week, something which is clearly bothering Hadopi, despite just 5% of respondents currently using them.

How ‘Pirate’ IPTV services work, as per Hadopi

The agency says this relatively small IPTV usage figure is increasing and has a more damaging effect on legal consumption due to “cannibalization”. ‘Pirate’ IPTV services are the closest one can get to an official streaming package so people are more likely to switch.

“54% of illegal IPTV users have already unsubscribed from a legal offer,” the report notes.

Additional uptake of pirate IPTV appears to have been driven by World Cup and Champions League fans after only some of these matches were delivered unencrypted to the public.

While the study focuses on live TV, it acknowledges that IPTV services pose a broader threat, since many also offer a VOD (Video-On-Demand) service containing hundreds if not thousands of movies and TV shows to be consumed at a time and place of the user’s choosing.

It’s clear from the study that many of those using pirate IPTV devices and apps do so because of the cost. Of those who admitted using them, 66% pay less than 100 euros per year for a package, including some (9%) who pay nothing at all.

As a comparison, combined annual subscriptions to BEIN Sports, Canal+, SFR Sport and OCS amounts to more than 760 euros per year. However, even when a subscriber buys them all the offer can’t compete with the offerings of a regular IPTV provider.

“After this first phase of the study of the uses [detailed above], the Hadopi agency will continue its analysis of the ecosystem of the illegal supply of live TV programs in order to detect, anticipate and warn, against emerging illicit practices,” the agency writes.

“In connection with the rights holders, television channels, Hadopi brings its technical and legal expertise to promote the implementation of actions to ensure effective and efficient protection of sustainable creation on the Internet.”

Hadopi’s paper can be downloaded here (pdf, French)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

How Many Piracy Warnings Would Get You to Stop?

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/how-many-piracy-warnings-would-get-you-to-stop-180422/

For the past several years, copyright holders in the US and Europe have been trying to reach out to file-sharers in an effort to change their habits.

Whether via high-profile publicity lawsuits or a simple email, it’s hoped that by letting people know they aren’t anonymous, they’ll stop pirating and buy more content instead.

Traditionally, most ISPs haven’t been that keen on passing infringement notices on. However, the BMG v Cox lawsuit seems to have made a big difference, with a growing number of ISPs now visibly warning their users that they operate a repeat infringer policy.

But perhaps the big question is how seriously users take these warnings because – let’s face it – that’s the entire point of their existence.

There can be little doubt that a few recipients will be scurrying away at the slightest hint of trouble, intimidated by the mere suggestion that they’re being watched.

Indeed, a father in the UK – who received a warning last year as part of the Get it Right From a Genuine Site campaign – confidently and forcefully assured TF that there would be no more illegal file-sharing taking place on his ten-year-old son’s computer again – ever.

In France, where the HADOPI anti-piracy scheme received much publicity, people receiving an initial notice are most unlikely to receive additional ones in future. A December 2017 report indicated that of nine million first warning notices sent to alleged pirates since 2012, ‘just’ 800,000 received a follow-up warning on top.

The suggestion is that people either stop their piracy after getting a notice or two, or choose to “go dark” instead, using streaming sites for example or perhaps torrenting behind a decent VPN.

But for some people, the message simply doesn’t sink in early on.

A post on Reddit this week by a TWC Spectrum customer revealed that despite a wealth of readily available information (including masses in the specialist subreddit where the post was made), even several warnings fail to have an effect.

“Was just hit with my 5th copyright violation. They halted my internet and all,” the self-confessed pirate wrote.

There are at least three important things to note from this opening sentence.

Firstly, the first four warnings did nothing to change the user’s piracy habits. Secondly, Spectrum presumably had enough at five warnings and kicked in a repeat-infringer suspension, presumably to avoid the same fate as Cox in the BMG case. Third, the account suspension seems to have changed the game.

Notably, rather than some huge blockbuster movie, that fifth warning came due to something rather less prominent.

“Thought I could sneak in a random episode of Rosanne. The new one that aired LOL. That fast. Under 24 hours I got shut off. Which makes me feel like [ISPs] do monitor your traffic and its not just the people sending them notices,” the post read.

Again, some interesting points here.

Any content can be monitored by rightsholders but if it’s popular in the US then a warning delivered via an ISP seems to be more likely than elsewhere. However, the misconception that the monitoring is done by ISPs persists, despite that not being the case.

ISPs do not monitor users’ file-sharing activity, anti-piracy companies do. They can grab an IP address the second someone enters a torrent swarm, or even connects to a tracker. It happens in an instant, at a time of their choosing. Quickly jumping in and out of a torrent is no guarantee and the fallacy of not getting caught due to a failure to seed is just that – a fallacy.

But perhaps the most important thing is that after five warnings and a disconnection, the Reddit user decided to take action. Sadly for the people behind Rosanne, it’s not exactly the reaction they’d have hoped for.

“I do not want to push it but I am curious to what happens 6th time, and if I would even be safe behind a VPN,” he wrote.

“Just want to learn how to use a VPN and Sonarr and have a guilt free stress free torrent watching.”

Of course, there was no shortage of advice.

“If you have gotten 5 notices, you really should of learnt [sic] how to use a VPN before now,” one poster noted, perhaps inevitably.

But curiously, or perhaps obviously given the number of previous warnings, the fifth warning didn’t come as a surprise to the user.

“I knew they were going to hit me for it. I just didn’t think a 195mb file would do it. They were getting me for Disney movies in the past,” he added.

So how do you grab the attention of a persistent infringer like this? Five warnings and a suspension apparently. But clearly, not even that is a guarantee of success. Perhaps this is why most ‘strike’ schemes tend to give up on people who can’t be rehabilitated.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.