French court levies first fine under three-strikes law on illegal downloads

A man was fined €150 on Thursday for failing to secure his Internet connection

A French court fined a man ¬150 (US$193) on Thursday for failing to secure his Internet connection, according to a spokesman for the French High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (Hadopi).

Hadopi's Commission for Rights Protection, the body that investigates reports of copyright infringement, has passed just 14 case files to the courts for prosecution under the country's controversial three strikes law since it began its work in October 2010. This is the first of the cases to reach trial.

The law makes it illegal to download copyright content such as music, video, or games without the copyright holder's permission. It also makes it illegal for Internet subscribers to allow other people to do so over their Internet connection, even if they only allow them to do so inadvertently.

The Belfort Police Tribunal, which tries minor offenses, found the man guilty of negligence for failing in his obligation to secure access to his Internet connection, the spokesman for Hadopi said.

During the hearing, the man said it was his wife that had downloaded the files, not him. He admitted failing to secure his Internet access.

Local newspapers reported that his wife had signed a statement admitting to downloading two tracks by the artist Rihanna, although these were not the only downloads the man was accused of allowing.

Last week Mireille Imbert-Quaretta, president of the Commission for Rights Protection, said Hadopi had sent out 1,153,460 warning emails to Internet subscribers by June 30. When the Commission receives complaints of copyright infringement from rights holders, it sends emails warning the Internet subscribers concerned that their connections are involved in illegal downloads. Not all recipients of the emails heeded the warnings, prompting rights holders to make further complaints about 102,854 of them, prompting the Commission to send second warnings by registered letter to the subscribers.

Just 340 of those have been the subject of continued complaints by rights holders, the third strike that may -- if they are the subject of further complaints during the year following their final warning -- eventually land them in court.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?