French “Three-Strikes” Agency Logo Violates Copyright

Agency to be charged with overseeing the country’s controversial plan for disconnecting illegal file-sharers from the Internet unveils new logo using typeface without permisssion of the copyright holder.

In a delcious bit of irony, the French govt agency tasked with enforcing a controversial “three-strikes” law that will allow authorities to disconnect illegal file-sharers from the Internet unveiled its official new logo to the public only to discover that it was used without permission of the copyright tholder.

That’s right, the Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI) is itself guilty of copyright infringement.

The logo uses a “Bonjour” typeface that was created by by graphic designer Jean-Francois Porchez whom sold it for exclusive use by France Telecom.

The design agency that created the logo for HADOPI admits it was it mistake and that the design had since been “tweaked,” bu Porchez says that legal action is still an option.

“My lawyer will contact the culture ministry and France Telecom in the hope of finding a solution,” he told the Telegraph.

The affair is just another example of the repeated instances of copyright infringemnt by the French govt, and certainyly illustartes why the public is so concerned about “three-strikes” sanctions. If the govt, with all of its legal respoucres, can make a mistake not once, but no less than 4 times and counting over the past year alone, then what hope does the average Joe (or Jacque in this case) have?

For if you recall, first it was accusations by US indie band MGMT last February that the UMP was using its popular song Kids at the party’s national congress and in two online videos and political advertisements without permission.

Then France’s presidential audio services, the Service audiovisual de la présidence de la République, was exposed making some 400 unauthorized copies of the documentary A visage découvert : Nicolas Sarkozy.

The DVD’s producer, Galaxie Press, had apparently only shipped 50 copies to the govt agency, well short of what was needed, so it decided to make additional copies on its own, even going so far as to replace the Galaxie Press logo with its own.

Fasat forward to last month when it was accused by the Canadian Musicor Quebecois record label for using a song in a lipdup video without permission.

So far implementation of “three-strikes” plan has been delayed until April. Lets hope it becomes delayed permanently.

Stay tuned.

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