France Strikes "Three Strikes"

Friday, July 26, 2013


France's infamous anti-piracy law, known as Hadopi, was supposed to kick copyright infringers off the internet after giving them three warnings, or "strikes." But this month, after spending almost four years and millions of Euros to disconnect just one lowly pirate, France finally dropped the Hadopi law. Brooke asks Techdirt writer Glyn Moody what went wrong with Hadopi and what's next in the war against piracy.


Glyn Moody

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [5]

I'm going to have to agree with Brit here.

TechDirt is not an unbiased "news" outlet in any way shape or form. It is an activist technology-sector outlet that seeks overturn or radically alter copyright law, which is in the business interest of its own very specific niche audience.

Any time you have on a spokesperson from TechDirt or a similar organization (should you choose to have one at all!) it is your responsibility to counterbalance their stance with the view of the other side -- Or at least challenge your guest on their dogmatic and industry-focused worldview by presenting other perspectives for further commentary.

For instance, a little bit of research would have confirmed that reasonable anti-piracy laws in Sweden led to an increase of nearly 20% in music sales within one year alone! Finland has had similarly positive results with their reasonable enforcement campaigns.

Perhaps most telling is the story over in Japan: Immediately after that nation passed strict anti-piracy laws, its music sales went on to surpass US music sales within a year -- And with population just 1/3 the size! If anything, the misguided HADOPI and US campaigns could easily be seen as outliers.

To suggest that all anti-piracy efforts are doomed is to ignore the facts that are available. There is far more to this story than what was covered here. I'm deeply disappointed with the coverage this time out, unfortunately. It shows a lack of balance, research and objectivity.

If you are going to interview controversial activists and advocates in the future, it is your duty to present the other side. TechDirt is biased toward a specific worldview and the interests of a specific industry. The site presents activism and advocacy -- not news.

Please acknowledge and respect that in future pieces. And naturally, I'd expect you to apply those same standards to music industry advocates as well.

Thank you for acknowledging. I'll look forward to more balanced coverage of this issue in the future. This time out, I'm afraid to say you've dropped the ball. I've come to expect more from OTM.

Thanks and be well,

Justin Colletti
(A lifelong fan of the show)

Jul. 30 2013 02:28 PM
RJR from Nashville

Terribly one sided program. As a professional songwriter, I have seen the effects of a decade of piracy first hand, have seen countless friends and co-workers driven out of business, not because their works were no longer desired but because thieves found ways to profit from giving their intellectual property away. There are still fortunes being made from piracy and it's facilitation, in many cases by those who make sure it continues unabated. Metallica was right.

Jul. 29 2013 11:48 PM

Can we please stop using the word "piracy" when speaking of copyright infringement, now around five years after actual piracy has restarted off Somalia?

Jul. 28 2013 04:43 PM

I always question "On The Media"s coverage of piracy when they interview people from TechDirt. TechDirt is a terribly biased website who wants to eliminate copyright. For example, they employed Nina Paley, who advocates that not only should piracy be legal, but corporations should be allowed to sell other people's work without paying them a dime. This would mean, for example, that Walmart can print copies of CDs and books without paying musicians or authors a dime.
Is On The Media naive about the "experts" they have on their show, or are they attempting to promote anti-copyright goals without disclosing it to their listeners?
At one point, Glyn Moody says that the rate of piracy plummeted when legal alternatives were introduced. The problem with this statement is that legal alternatives have been available for a long time. iTunes has been available for how many years now?
He says that piracy is a signal that people aren't getting things at a price that they consider fair. Of course, what's "fair" is highly subjective. Further, I know a number of people who pirate. I've heard them say "why pay for something when you can get it for free on the internet?" - which implies that (1) people who pay for digital media are stupid, and (2) the price is irrelevant because free will always be cheaper than paying (even if that payment is "fair").
I'm not saying that all pirates act this way, but it's understandable that creators would be unhappy with the notion of: allowing another middleman (Spotify) to shave-off a slice of the music revenue, needing to lower their prices to a fraction of their earlier (pre-piracy) prices in order to compete with piracy. (The fact that people were willing to pay higher prices indicates that the value of music is much higher than the current pricing scheme. One can understand that musicians would be unhappy about needing to sell their music at far less than "value" because they need to compete with piracy.) Speaking of which, recently, Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) commented on how poor the payments from Spotify are and has removed his music from the service (along with other music services). The model seems to be: the public wants to pay as little as possible, the third-parties (like labels and music-services like Spotify) want to take as large of a cut as possible (which means paying the musician as little as possible), and then services like Spotify keep the musicians by telling them that they'll get nothing at all (thanks to piracy) if they try to free themselves from Spotify licensing. It only makes business sense for services like Spotify to play-up and exaggerate their "piracy fighting" credentials.

Jul. 28 2013 03:21 PM
ctb from St. Petersburg, FL

This segment made me think of a service offered through our local public library called Freegal. Through it, library patrons may download 3 free MP3s per week. The service offers thousands of free songs - seemingly the entire Capitol & Sony catalogs, including new releases.

Jul. 28 2013 01:15 PM

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