Big Media swamps French copyright cops

French copyright cops trying to enforce the country's 'three strikes' system for persistent P2P infringers are drowning in a sea of complaints from Big Media.

According to Ars Technica, the Hadopi agency, which has been tasked with stemming the tide of piracy among France's 65 million population, has received 18 million complaints from music, movie and software industry copyright holders.

Recent reports that a third of France's entire population had been accused of a bit of digital skulduggery would seem to be the product of sensational headlines and shonky maths as multiple complaints levelled against the same person were not taken into account.

Hadopi says that it has sent out 470,000 initial warning emails, and just 20,000 second strikes. Only 10 persistent P2Pers have had a third strike and will now have to deal with the courts, which could theoretically excommunicate offenders from the Internet for up to a month.

The UN recently declared that access to the Internet is a basic human right alongside food, water and shelter, so we'll be watching closely to see how that one pans out.