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Hadopi warnings yet to deter half the French who download illegally

After starting to send warning emails on 5 October to Internet users suspected of illegal file-sharing, the French authorities have announced that they are now sending out a second wave of emails accompanied by a recorded letter.

If violators continue to illegally download copyrighted material, the Rights Protection Commission (CPD) of anti-Internet piracy body HADOPI can then ask a judge to order their Internet service provider to disconnect them for a month, under the so-called “three-strike” policy.

The 70,000 email warnings so far sent are the outcome of 100,000 requests to ISPs to identify suspected offenders from IP addresses. The CPH head is reportedly hoping to reach the rate of 10,000 warnings a day.

This policy did not seem to stop nearly half of people in France to download film and music illegally, according results of a HADOPI study released at the Midem music market at Cannes last week. It found that only one third of users were prepared to change and migrate to legal sites.

Of the 2,600 people surveyed, 13% said illegal downloading was a regular thing for them, 36% said it was occasional or exceptional. As could be expected, internet piracy is more prevalent among the young: 70% of 15- to 24 year-olds admit doing it, while 55% of 25- to 39-year-olds and 32% of 40-year-olds and over do the same.

Hadopi officials might be concerned that, while 25% of the offenders said they had been downloading for longer than five years, 29% admitted they had started in the past six months – after Hadopi’s so-called 3-strike law became active.

Piracy was not slowing down and methods to access illegally copyrighted material were diversifying, the report found. It reckons piracy will grow at a CAGR of around 10% during 2010-2013.

The study found that those who downloaded the most material illegally also spent the most online on films and video. Among the reasons given are the length of time it takes American series to reach France, the ability to watch foreign films that would not normally be available in France and the lack of availability on legal networks.

Story filed 28.01.11

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