60 French ISP Account Holders On Their Third Strike For Internet Piracy

The French authority tasked with reducing file-sharing has sent out more than 650,000 first-strike warnings in its first 12 months of active operations. Hadopi say that in excess of 44,000 citizens are now on their second strike and 60 Internet subscribers are in the final and most dramatic stage of the controversial "three-strikes" regime.

In place since January 2010, the French solution to unauthorized file-sharing has been met with controversy every step of the way.

The so-called “three strikes” or graduated response scheme sees Internet users formally warned when they are monitored sharing copyrighted material online without the rightholder’s permission.

According to Hadopi, the authority setup to admínister the admonishments, everything is going to plan. Hadopi, it seems, have been very busy indeed.

Hadopi president Marie-Françoise Marais says that since the legislation’s inception 18 months ago, many hundreds of thousands of French file-sharers have been contacted by her organization.

The first warnings began to go out in October 2010 and by February 2011 nearly 471,000 Internet users had received one. Nearly 20,600 more stubborn account holders had already received their second.

Marais says that by early last month, 650,000 ISP account holders were on their ‘first strike’, a warning notification indicating that they are now on the first rung of the Hadopi ladder – and starting to run out of luck.

While some users would have changed their habits after this first warning, many did not. By early September 2011 some 44,000 ISP account holders were on their ‘second strike’, indicating that they did not take the first notification sufficiently seriously, or were willing to play out the three strikes game to its limits.

According to Marais, at least 60 ISP account holders ignored both the first and second warnings and are now in the final stages of the anti-piracy process. Punishments for them, should a judge agree, could amount to a 1,500 euro fine and internet disconnection of up to a month.

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