Hadopi 2 fails to deter web users

Report finds web users are ditching peer-to-peer sharing for alternative download methods that get around the new law

11 March 2010

A NEW law designed to tackle online piracy is having the opposite effect on French internet users, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Rennes found that since the Hadopi 2 law was passed last autumn, illegal downloading has grown by 3%.

They found the law - instead of discouraging online piracy - was merely encouraging people to find alternative ways of getting access to copyrighted material without getting caught.

The study of 2,000 internet users in Brittany found 5% had completely stopped illegal downloading since Hadopi 2 became law.

Another 10% had abandoned peer-to-peer file sharing services and started getting their pirated music and films using alternative methods including streaming or direct download from a web server such as Rapidshare.

According to Les Echos, 2.7 million people in France use peer-to-peer file sharing - which would be targeted by Hadopi - but a further three million people use direct downloads, which will go unnoticed.

Although the Hadopi law was passed last autumn, the body is not yet fully up and running and the first warning letters to persistent illegal downloaders have yet to be sent out.

Under the new law, illegal downloaders will get two warnings from Hadopi then their case will be passed to a judge who can impose an ordonnance pénale to cut internet access for up to a year plus a fine.

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