French antipiracy authority 'happy' it has sent just 14 cases to court in the last year

The French online antipiracy authority has sent out 1.1 million warning emails, and is happy so few of those will have legal consequences

By , IDG News Service |  Government

Those discussions have revealed high levels of ignorance among Internet subscribers. Imbert-Quaretta gave one example of Hadopi's education work, citing a subscriber who, calling in response to the first warning, said he had now ordered his children to stop sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. When the second warning arrived, he called to say he had found the peer-to-peer app still on the children's computer, and had now dragged its shortcut to the recycle bin. Hadopi staff told him that was not enough, and explained how to go about uninstalling it.

Educating the whole family is something Imbert-Quaretta is taking seriously, if for no other reason than to avoid becoming the butt of office jokes.

"With a teenager in my household," she said, "my colleagues are always asking if I have had to send a warning notice to myself yet."

To date, Hadopi has passed just 14 case files to the courts, although others of the 340 may follow if they are the subject of further complaints by rights holders during the year following their final warning. None of the 14 cases have yet gone to trial, although prosecutors have contacted the Commission for further information about many of them, Imbert-Quaretta said. "Most of those requests have come from the Gendarmerie," the organization that polices rural areas and small towns, she said, something that suggests it may not lack legal download options that drive people to online piracy, as the government has said in the past, but physical stores.

Although none of Hadopi's cases have yet gone to trial, sentence has already been passed in one, Imbert-Quaretta aid. "An Internet subscriber contacted us to say he had suspended his children's Internet access for three months" to put an end to their file sharing.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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