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Old 02-20-2012, 02:07 AM   #1
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Experience with tougher copyright laws in France

It seems that digital sales have picked up since tougher laws and anti-piracy education have been launched. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/te...-piracy20.html
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
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I think that the cost is too big:
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Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet, said the law had resulted in increased use of virtual private network software and other anonymity tools.

“Apparently some of its intimidation is having a psychological effect,” he said of the three-strikes law, but added: “The political costs of creating an institution like this are tremendous.”

Stories like that of Robert Thollot, a teacher who lives near Saint-Étienne, in central France, have not helped. Mr. Thollot was accused of illegally downloading songs by David Guetta and Rihanna, as well as the film “Iron Man 2.”

Mr. Thollot argued that someone had pirated his log-on to a nationwide Wi-Fi network and downloaded the material while he was in class. After interviewing him, Hadopi dropped his case.

“It’s like when someone steals your bank card number,” said Renaud Veeckman, co-founder of SOS Hadopi, an organization that offers legal help to people who have received warnings from the anti-piracy agency. “Are you responsible, or are you the victim?”

SOS Hadopi has worked with five people whose dossiers have reached the third stage, including Mr. Thollot; all five have been cleared before going to court. This suggests that the actual number of cases that have been forwarded to the justice system may be considerably lower than the 165 third-strike offenders cited by Hadopi. Mr. Walter at Hadopi declined to provide a specific figure.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Are there any statistics on the number of people encrypting their internet traffic to get around Hadopi snooping? Considering the cost of administrating it (which presumably the French tax payers cover?) there hasn't been much of an increase in digital sales. Certainly not enough for the tax revenue from those sales to cover the cost of Hadopi.

You would also need to factor in the affect on profits in other entertainment related industries — restaurants, cinema, etc. People would still need to buy blank media to backup their digital purchases (though obviously a lot less than they would have been buying before), so there would be less disposable income left over for other forms of entertainmnet.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
Are there any statistics on the number of people encrypting their internet traffic to get around Hadopi snooping? Considering the cost of administrating it (which presumably the French tax payers cover?) there hasn't been much of an increase in digital sales. Certainly not enough for the tax revenue from those sales to cover the cost of Hadopi.
Hmmm. Should the law really be based on whether the cost of enforcement exceeds the economic benefit? That strikes me as the wrong way to look at it. Surely the law should exist because it's wrong to download stuff without paying for it, shouldn't it?

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You would also need to factor in the affect on profits in other entertainment related industries — restaurants, cinema, etc. People would still need to buy blank media to backup their digital purchases (though obviously a lot less than they would have been buying before), so there would be less disposable income left over for other forms of entertainmnet.
So we shouldn't prosecute criminals because, as a result of their crimes, they have more disposable income?
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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Hmmm. Should the law really be based on whether the cost of enforcement exceeds the economic benefit? That strikes me as the wrong way to look at it. Surely the law should exist because it's wrong to download stuff without paying for it, shouldn't it?
For such a petty crime, the overall economic benefit definitely needs to exceed the enforcement costs. Especially when it negatively impacts other (home-grown) industries.

Laws already existed to enable content creators to prosecute unauthorised downloaders, so shifting the burden of paying for that from the corporations most likely to benefit from a reduction in piracy to ordinary tax payers is just plain wrong. All you are doing is subsidising those corporations at the expense of smaller local businesses. (Like with the Tesco Value Workers.)

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So we shouldn't prosecute criminals because, as a result of their crimes, they have more disposable income?
It depends on the seriousness of the crime, how much it would cost to enforce it, and how it negatively impacts other people or oganisations. Some are worth prosecuting, some aren't. There needs to be a net benefit for society as a whole, otherwise it's just a waste of money.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Laws already existed to enable content creators to prosecute unauthorised downloaders, so shifting the burden of paying for that from the corporations most likely to benefit from a reduction in piracy to ordinary tax payers is just plain wrong. All you are doing is subsidising those corporations at the expense of smaller local businesses. (Like with the Tesco Value Workers.)
But it's not just large corporations who suffer at the hands of pirates; it's the little guys too, like you and me. I'm constantly finding my software pirated on Usenet, being sold illegally on eBay, etc. I'm sure that your books are pirated, too. Why should you and I have to pay to gain the protection of the law? We are the victims.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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But it's not just large corporations who suffer at the hands of pirates; it's the little guys too, like you and me. I'm constantly finding my software pirated on Usenet, being sold illegally on eBay, etc. I'm sure that your books are pirated, too. Why should you and I have to pay to gain the protection of the law? We are the victims.
But we are paying, in our higher taxes, to subsidise the large corporations who can easily afford to pay for their own prosecutions. We won't get the same protection for our files as they do because we're not big enough.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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Hmmm. Should the law really be based on whether the cost of enforcement exceeds the economic benefit? That strikes me as the wrong way to look at it. Surely the law should exist because it's wrong to download stuff without paying for it, shouldn't it?
When the purpose of the law is "provide economic benefit to the creators of content," the cost of enforcing it should be less than (1) those economic benefits and/or (2) the tax revenue gained by those sales.

It's not morally wrong to copy something without paying for it. We all do this when we tell our families a joke we heard at work. If copying were innately immoral and illegal, photocopiers and scanners would be a regulated industry, requiring a proof-of-copyright before using.

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So we shouldn't prosecute criminals because, as a result of their crimes, they have more disposable income?
No, but we could have much, much less theft if everyone were strip-searched every time they enter or leave a store--at the cost of a lot of time, effort, and annoyed customers. The cost of enforcement must be considered when deciding whether a law is justified.

What gains come from it, and what is lost?

In this case, it seems that the gains are noticeable but small, and the losses are being ignored entirely.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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Hmmm. Should the law really be based on whether the cost of enforcement exceeds the economic benefit? That strikes me as the wrong way to look at it. Surely the law should exist because it's wrong to download stuff without paying for it, shouldn't it?
Just to protect profits?

Legal pursuit against your customer (or at worse potential customers), is not a brilliant commercial strategy.

If only they would spend the same energy trying to figure out how to get people interested in their products...
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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Hmmm. Should the law really be based on whether the cost of enforcement exceeds the economic benefit? That strikes me as the wrong way to look at it. Surely the law should exist because it's wrong to download stuff without paying for it, shouldn't it?
If the harm that a law causes outweighs the harm it is trying to prevent/correct/address, then that is a problem.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #11
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I think that the cost is too big...
They sent out 822,000 email warnings.

They sent out 68,000 second-stage warnings.

They sent out 165 third-stage warnings.

Only fraction of those 165 third-stage warnings appear to be going to court, where the individual might face a €1500 fine and/or lose Internet for 1 month. Or, if they can demonstrate that it's not their fault, they are not punished.

That doesn't sound like a horrendous cost to me, especially compared to a maximum of $20,000 per-download fine that you could face in the US.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Considering the cost of administrating it (which presumably the French tax payers cover?) there hasn't been much of an increase in digital sales.
I doubt it's all that expensive to send out a million emails. Nor are laws designed to earn money for the government; in fact, it's usually problematic if a law makes a profit, as exhibited by quotas for parking tickets or moving violations.


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...there would be less disposable income left over for other forms of entertainmnet.
So we're supposed to tolerate copyright violations, because that lets people spend their money on other things?
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
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People could always employ accountability to avoid this.. nah too much work.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
They sent out 822,000 email warnings.

They sent out 68,000 second-stage warnings.

They sent out 165 third-stage warnings.

Only fraction of those 165 third-stage warnings appear to be going to court, where the individual might face a €1500 fine and/or lose Internet for 1 month. Or, if they can demonstrate that it's not their fault, they are not punished.

That doesn't sound like a horrendous cost to me, especially compared to a maximum of $20,000 per-download fine that you could face in the US.
Those 68,000 second stage warnings are sent by registered mail (recommandé avec accusé de réception in France) which cost a minimum of Euro4.36 or US$5.77.

So the French taxpayer is paying a minimum of US$392.360 just in postage costs to protect the profits of private corporations, quite apart from administrative, legal and salary costs incurred by Hadopi*. At the most they seem to be likely to recover 165x1500 Euros, or E247,500 equal to US$327,538. Which means even if every existing case is won they won't even cover their postage costs!

There's a reason both of the main opposition parties in next years French elections are committed to abolishing Hadopi. And according to current opinion Sarkozy is going to lose to one of them.

That is exactly what ACTA, SOPA/PIPA and C11 in Canada are designed to do - transfer the costs for protecting corporate profits from the corporate budget to the public budget.

Edit: *According to the NYT article Hadopi has a budget of Euro11Million.
Edit2: I'm sure it would be far too cynical of me to think that this has anything to do with why Sarkozy brought in Hadopi.

Last edited by plib; 02-21-2012 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:50 AM   #15
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So we're supposed to tolerate copyright violations, because that lets people spend their money on other things?
We're not supposed to pay for the costs of non-criminal copyright infringement so that corporations can spend their money on other things.
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