France’s new culture minister is not yet promising to disband the country’s internet piracy enforcement agency, Hadopi. But she already is already planning to cut its budget and to dissuade it from kicking people off the internet.
Aurélie Filippetti has commissioned former Canal+ pay-TV CEO Pierre Lescure to lead a wide-ranging and overdue review to update Act II of France’s so-called “cultural exception” – a set of rules for protecting Francophone culture – for the digital age, including the role of Hadopi.
Geeks are reading indications by the new Francois Hollande government as suggesting an axe for the agency, which was
formed in October 2012 mandated by government in 2009 to send warning letters to ISP subscribers deemed to by rightsholders to be downloading content without authorisation.
Filipetti, in an interview with La Nouvel Observateur, only goes as far as promising to underfund Hadopi:
Filipetti’s views put her in line with Europe’s digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is trying to smoothe content licensing regimes to create more legal digital content offerings across the continent and who recently urged French citizens to submit to Lescure’s consultation:
Beside Kroes’ efforts, France’s cultural exception update is likely to reduce VAT on digital goods in line with the favourable rates applied to physical cultural products.
France’s Hadopi public agency, created to administer sending of warnings to alleged freeloaders, sent 755,015 first warnings to ISP subscribers in its first 14 months of operation.
Lescure’s review mimics a 2011 report that recommended updating the UK’s intellectual property laws for the digital age.