French Anti-Piracy Regime Breaks 5 Million Warning Barrier

The famous French "graduated response" initiative for dealing with online piracy has now sent out more than five million warnings to alleged infringers. The latest figures published by the Hadopi agency also reveal that 169 people were referred to the public prosecutor in the first half of 2015, up from 46 in the same period last year.

warningWhile site-blocking currently grabs most of the headlines as a key anti-piracy strategy of the entertainment industries, the so-called “graduated response” is still considered a valuable tool for reducing infringing activity online.

Also known as “three strikes”, these schemes are promoted as educational in nature, with alleged pirates receiving escalating warnings designed to discourage further infringing behavior.

In the fall of 2010, France became one of the pioneers of the warning system and now almost five years later a report from the country’s ‘Hadopi’ anti-piracy agency has revealed the extent of its operations.

Between September 2010 and June 2015, a total of 4,897,883 initial warning notices were sent to French Internet account holders. In the same period 482,667 individuals received a second notice while just 2,221 reached the third stage.

Referrals to the public prosecutor (for those still not getting the message) reached 169 in the first six months of 2015, up from 46 in the same period in 2014.

When it comes to overall notices sent, June 2015 was the most active month in the history of the program thus far. In total 231,000 account holders received a first strike, 21,400 received a second and 104 reached the third stage.

However, according to figures published by NextInpact, the volume of notices being sent out to Internet users represents just a fraction of the total number of complaints filed by rightsholders.

To date it’s estimated that more than 37 million complaints (alleged instances of infringement) have been filed with the Hadopi agency although many millions have been discarded. According to Hadopi, however, the processing rate is being improved, with around 50% of the 70,000 complaints currently filed by rightsholders each day being actioned.

The Hadopi report can be found here (French, pdf)

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