Hadopi Recommends Super Injunctions to Keep Pirate Content Down

Today, French anti-piracy agency HADOPI handed the government a long-awaited report on the development of "operational tools" for dealing with online piracy. Several key areas are outlined, including the creation of a new type of takedown notice designed not only to take content offline, but keep it offline for up to six months.

hadopilogoFor an extended period anti-piracy agency HADOPI stayed in the news due to its responsibility for maintaining France’s controversial three-strikes anti-piracy scheme. While many of the big headlines have subsided, the authority is still tasked with dealing with an issue that simply refuses to go away.

Last July, Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication, tasked Mireille Imbert-Quaretta, president of the Commission for Protection of Rights, to find solutions against large scale commerical piracy online, i.e against the sites and services offering music and movies for free.

The report, obtained by Les Echoes and scheduled to be handed over to the government today, envisions a multi-pronged approach to the issue.

“There is no single solution to fight against counterfeiting on the Internet,” warns Mireille Imbert-Quaretta (MIQ).

MIQ’s recommendations begin with what is now forming into somewhat of an industry standard tactic for dealing with ‘pirate’ sites, that of hitting their finances. MIQ foresees a tightening of the noose around unauthorized sites by building cooperation among advertising players to restrict support for such domains. In addition it’s recommended that the same kind of agreements should be forged in order to cut off sites’ access to payment processing facilities.

“These kinds of charters are intended to create a framework for the involvement of stakeholders in the advertising and online payment industries in the fight against infringement of copyright and neighboring rights on the Internet, and to put in place certain rules for their actions,” the report reads.

Another proposal foresees the creation of a master list of sites deemed to be engaged in “massive” breaches of copyright. While various lists of this nature already exist in several places around the world, such as at City of London Police, they have until now remained secret. MIQ recommends that the French list is made publicly available, for several key reasons.

– To update the public about the legality of sites online
– To allow advertising and payment industry players to make informed decisions
– For the reference of other potential intermediaries involved in the piracy eco-system

MIQ’s final recommendation will be of broad interest, especially if the French can do the seemingly impossible and actually pull it off.

“The copyright holders are faced with the constant recurrence of content and links they have already demand the withdrawal of,” the report reads.

To deal with this issue the final recommendation foresees the “creation of an order for extended withdrawal”, in other words a DMCA-style takedown notice that not only says “takedown”, but also “stay down”.

These notices would oblige a host to “stop and prevent, for a specified period, the reappearance of content that has been identified as constituting an infringement of copyright or related rights on the site.”

It’s suggested that these kinds of orders could be valid for up to six months but at least initially would only be directed at sites hosting actual files, not links to files such as in the case of BitTorrent indexes.

“These are all distinct responses gradually leading to the establishment of an effective action against websites taking advantage of a massive operation of counterfeiting,” the report concludes.

Time will tell how the government will respond but it seems likely that all proposals will be taken very seriously.

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