HADOPI is effectively an anti-piracy organization that oversees and enforces Frances three strikes law. Unfortunately for HADOPI, someone else took the Trademark of ‘HADOPI’ – someone who just so happens to be opposed by the new French copyright laws to be more precise.
For a lot of French citizens, the word ‘HADOPI’ is often in the same sentence as the word ‘incompetence’. While it might be a harsh criticism, the development of a trademark issue might add fuel to that criticism. A report from La Provence details the ironic development (Google translated)
Six months before the French government filed for a trademark for ownership of “Hadopi”, French citizen Renaud Veeckman also filed for ownership of that very word. When he filed for the trademark, the institute who manages those trademarks was rather unhappy and said that this filing was a risk to public safety – however the ownership of a name is a risk to public safety.
The translation of the article suggests that since the government didn’t file for the trademark fast enough, Veeckman is more than likely the proud owner of the Trademark “HADOPI” which could no doubt cause problems for the government, but a court of law has yet to decide who the real owner of the “HADOPI” trademark really is. From the translation of the article:
The willingness of Renaud Veeckman is not playing the game of cat and mouse with the State but to denounce the abuse of law “of a purely repressive. We do not refuse to fight against piracy, but it denies that the protection of artists through an infringement of individual liberties, a spy of the Ministry of Culture in the computer, it’s worthy of Big Brother.
Veeckman said that if his trademark is upheld in court, he would sue the government for damages – a symbolic Euro. No doubt this was a reference to last years fiasco when French governing party – who pushed for this law in the first place – was sued by artist MGMT for copyright infringement.
Veeckman also commented that there hasn’t even been a debate over the three strikes law and suggests that this is bad for everyone.
Currently, Veeckman is starting up a legal music website called Apiadiopi that allows artists to set the price they want to charge for their music. Definitely an innovative idea since it obliterates the standard 99 cents set by iTunes. To whom the site will be catering to is unclear from the article, but it is known that the site will start up in September.
Either way you slice it, it sounds like another blow to the reputation of the French government who had all the planning worked out, but seemingly forgets to do a simple and basic thing by Trademarking a name of one of their branches. Not the best thing to happen for a branch that is devoted to enforcing copyright laws especially after having to recover from the embarrassment of their own logo infringing copyright back in January.