French HADOPI Law, Now Complete, Can Brandish Its Weapons

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The French Constitutional Council yesterday gave its ruling about the constitutionality of a French bill aiming to protect literary and artistic intellectual property rights online, and decided that the bill was in conformity with the French Constitution, asking only for a minor amendment, according to the Council ruling available here (in French).

The legislation, nicknamed HADOPI 2, followed the first so-called HADOPI law passed in May, which was reformed by the Constitutional Council in June, depriving it of its sanctioning ability. HADOPI 2, which aims to complement the first law by adding modified sanctions, was also challenged at the Constitutional Council by Socialist Party deputies (IPW, Access to Knowledge, 2 October 2009).

The first law set up a high-level authority for the diffusion of works and the protection of rights on the internet (HADOPI). This authority will locate and warn alleged infringers. The second law restores penalties that were struck from the first law allowing a judge to implement sanctions, including the suspension of internet connectivity up to one year, after two warnings of alleged illegal downloading.

Frédéric Mitterand, the French minister of culture and communication, welcomed the decision and announced the next steps of the fight for the protection of creators’ rights and the development of legal downloading offers on Internet, according to a ministry press release (in French).

The high level authority will be set up in conformity with the foreseen schedule and its members should be nominated in November. The first warning messages should be sent to alleged infringers at the beginning of 2010, according to the release.

Creative Commons License"French HADOPI Law, Now Complete, Can Brandish Its Weapons" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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