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Child breaks law: am I responsible?

What happens if my child downloads something illegally on the family computer?

NOW that the Hadopi authority against illegal internet downloading is operational, what happens if my child downloads something on the family computer? S.T.

A spokesman for the Hadopi said that it is the person who pays for the internet connection who is responsible for any illegal downloading.

It is punishable by a fine of up to €1,500 (or five times more for companies), and the judge may also rule that internet access be cut for up to a month.

However, before that happens, there are several stages. Initially, you will get a warning email. If there is a second offence, you will get another email, plus a recorded delivery letter.

On a third occasion, an offender is threatened with legal action.

Clearly, if you get a warning, you need to find out if anyone else has been using the computer to download illegally. Another possibility is that the email is a scam.

A real Hadopi email will mention your home address, your internet provider, your name and surname.

It will contain no clickable links, will not ask for any payment or ask you to buy anything (eg. software) and will not ask you to go to a personalised space on a website.

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