[La Quadrature du Net, Link (CC-BY-SA)] Pierre Lescure has handed in his report [fr] on culture at the digital era to French President François Hollande1. La Quadrature du Net denounces a flawed political process revealing the harmful influence of industrial groups at all levels of policy-making. How will the French government react to Lescure’s proposal to expand the scope of competence of the audiovisual media regulator (CSA) to the Internet? Will it to pursue former President Sarkozy’s anti-sharing policies and even supplement them with new ACTA-like measures encouraging online intermediaries to become private copyright police?
In a recent interviewwith Le Nouvel Observateur, French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti said that she will reduce funding HADOPI – the French agency that enforces online copyright through a graduated response: “Within the context of budget cutting, I’ll request operational funding to Hadopi be reduced… I’d rather reduce financing of things whose usefulness hasn’t been proven.”
Filippetti further said that “suspension of Internet access strikes me as disproportionate to the goal being sought. Hadopi has [also] failed in its mission to develop legal alternatives [to illegal downloading].”
In the U.S. press, Time Magazine interpretted her comments to indicate that she will underfund the agency rather than repealing the law that establishes it. This would be an attempt to retain the entertainment industry’s support of the Socialist Party. On the other hand, Ars Technica interpretted her comments to indicate that the agency will likely be shut down, noting that President Hollande campaigned against the law.
By Brett Danaher, Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang
The HADOPI legislation is a significant and controversial measure with passionate supporters and passionate detractors. As co-authors of a study analyzing the impact of the HADOPI law on music sales, we have watched with concern as our finding have been interpreted in ways that are removed from our original intentions. Because of this, we wanted to take a moment to clarify what we believe our study can say about the effectiveness of HADOPI, while also — and maybe more importantly — clarifying what our study cannot say about the broader policy questions raised by this and other similar legislative efforts to reduce piracy.
In terms of what our study can say: simply stated, our research question is “did HADOPI cause an increase in iTunes music sales in France?” In raising this question, we would like to first point out that as academics we have no philosophical or practical predisposition about what the answer is or what it should be. Our sole goal is trying to understand what the data say.