Controversial Anti-Piracy Law Now Live In France

French anti-piracy law Hadopi went live this week prompting copyright holders to send out thousands of IP addresses belonging to suspected copyright infringers to French Internet Service Providers.

The French law is based on a "three-strike" concept, under which alleged users will be given three warnings before they are referred to a judge, who will then either fine them or disconnect their internet connection permanently.

The law has been formulated to curb online media piracy plaguing the media industries, resulting in the claimed losses of billions of dollars each year.

Under the law, French ISPs will be required to send back the details of the customers belonging to the infringing IP addresses within 8 days of receiving them, or risk being fined 1,500 Euros for every IP address they fail to give the details on.

For monitoring and reporting persistent copyright infringers, the media industry has hired Trident Media Guard to do the dirty work.

It is believed that those who continue to illegally download media files will be subjected to a fine or internet disconnection within a few months of receiving the third warning.

The British government will be closely monitoring how internet users react to the law and if indeed there is a change in the behaviour of downloaders.