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France: Internet Piracy Law

(Oct. 1, 2009) On September 22, 2009, the French Parliament adopted an additional law on Internet piracy to replace a provision of Law 2009-669 of June 12, 2009, on Favoring the Diffusion and the Protection of Creation on the Internet. The earlier provision was found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council. (Projet de loi relatif à la protection pénale de la propriété littéraire et artistique sur internet, Assemblée Nationale website, http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/dossiers/protection_penale_proplitt
.asp
(last visited Sept. 28, 2009); Nicole Atwill, France: Law on Favoring Diffusion and Protection of Internet Creations, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, July 6, 2009, available at http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_1407_text.)

The original law, known as the Hadopi Law in reference to the new administrative authority it created, the Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des oeuvres et la protection des droits sur internet (High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet) (HADOPI), gave the the new agency the authority to deny Internet access to users who repeatedly and unlawfully downloaded protected material. (Loi 2009-669 du 12 juin 2009 favorisant la diffusion et la protection de la création sur internet, LEGIFRANCE, http://legifrance.gouv.fr/ (search via “Les autres textes législatifs et réglementaires”) (last visited Sept. 28, 2009).) This provision was found to be unconstitutional, and the new law transfers this authority to a judge. (Projet de loi relatif à la protection pénale de la propriété littéraire et artistique sur internet, supra.)

The new law has not yet come into effect, as the Socialist legislative group that had challenged the first version before the Constitutional Council has decided to also challenge the new provision. (Le Parlement entérine le projet de loi Hadopi 2, FRANCE 24, Sept. 22, 2009, available at http://www.france24.com/fr/20090922-parlement-projet-loi-hadopi-france-i
nternet-telechargement-piratage-senat-deputes
.)