French Constitutional Court strikes down the HADOPI

French Constitutional Court strikes down the HADOPI – a restrictive French law, which caused the European Parliament to not be able to vote on the new Telecom package.

More in the Guardian, Betanews, and many other places.

This is a very good for the Internet users in France, but also in the European Union. I am particularly happy because this was done by the minority in France, as Betanews describes it:

    The Constitutional Council reviewed HADOPI at the request of France’s Socialist Party, which lobbied hard against the law. Had the Council not agreed to review HADOPI, a French representative to the European Parliament had already committed to taking the matter before the EU, which in turn had already spoken against the legislation. for now, though, it appears that France itself may take responsibility for rethinking the law.

The law was giving the copyright holders the right to send a warning (by email) to users, who they claim were downloading illegal content of the Internet, then a letter (second warning), and then request that the ISP cut the user’s Internet access.

The New York Times report French Court Defangs Plan to Crack Down on Internet Piracy, the newspaper says,

    “The decision, by the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation approved by Parliament before it goes into effect, is a major setback for the music and movie industries, which had praised the French law as a model solution to the problem of illegal file-sharing.”

And I have to repeat something I’ve said many times – the music and movie industries should stop trying to solve a problem of the 20th Century with tools of the 19th Century. If they can’t find a solution, they can always come to us, and ask. We have proposed it loooooooooooong time ago in Bulgaria; they rejected it.

The sad thing is they are so much into lobbying the politicians, that they (the politicians) are now victims of their own political model. Christine Albanel, the culture minister, has said, as quoted by the NYT, that she regretted the loss of an opportunity to “decriminalize” the process…

Poor French minister of Culture – and poor fans of the Closed Society model. How painful it must be? Next in line: Microsoft.

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