French researchers discover copyright infringement up 3% since law’s passage with 2/3 of former P2P users having switched to illegal streaming sites and HTTP-based download services not covered by the Hadopi legislation.
Proposed back in June of 2008, France’s “Creation and Internet” law was first successfully passed before being ruled unconstitutional by the country’s Constitutional Council for allowing the Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (Hadopi), a new govt agency whose task it was to be to disconnect those accused of illegal file-sharing, without court order.
The govt quickly amended the law to answer the court’s concerns, putting the power of disconnection in the hands of judges and reducing Hadopi to the “preventive and educational component of the fight against piracy,” and was then passed for the second time last September.
Well, despite all of the govt’s best efforts, researchers at the University of Rennes have found that illegal downloading has actually increased by 3% since the law was passed.
In fact, proving what many critics of the law already pointed out, 2/3 of former P2P users have simply switched to alternatives like illegal streaming sites and HTTP-based download services (i.e. Rapidshare), both of which aren’t covered by the “three-strikes” legislation.
The study showed that use of P2P services fell among those questioned 17.1% to 14.6% since October. By contrast, the use of sites and services not covered by the Hadopi law grew by 27% over the same period.
“This study casts light on the limits of Hadopi, which equates piracy with a protocol (P2P) and reduces piracy only among users of this protocol,” say the researchers. “Establishing an administrative authority that targets P2P networks largely seems to have the effect of exchanging piracy techniques for another set that circumvent Hadopi’s provisions.”
The survey also pointed out that the vast majority of Internet users, 70%, do not engage in any online piracy at all. However, half of those who said they were regular buyers of digital content also said they pirated material too.
Now to be fair, the law has yet to take effect, but the results couldn’t be any more clear. There are work arounds aplenty for the anti-piracy system necessary for enforcement of the “three-strikes” plan, and this research only confirms that conclusion.