News has surfaced that warning letters, allegedly from HADOPI, are being sent to an untold number of French citizens who are accused of copyright infringement. The problem? Neither HADOPI nor rights holders actually sent those e-mails.
It seems that HADOPI can’t catch a break. After a series of revelations ranging from questions over where the money is going to come from to being unable to wrestle with security questions to questions about the HADOPI trademark to name a few.
Now it seems that there is a new unintended consequence, though, to the credit of HADOPI, at least this might be the first thing that HADOPI never stood a hope of stopping. Le Monde is reporting (Google translation) that fraudsters are using HADOPI as a way to scam unsuspecting users out of their money.
Reportedly, the e-mails fraudulently claim to be from HADOPI, the organization that is suppose to oversee the French three strikes law. The e-mail then says that the user needs to send money or possibly demands their banking information where fraudsters no doubt use that to clean out people’s bank accounts.
In response, HADOPI is trying to warn users of this scam, though it’s unclear how they’ll be able to reach a sufficient number of users who could wind up being victims of this.
It’s interesting to see how scammers are using this law to their unlawful advantage. It’s like a scam-by-copyright law scheme. Though, to the French governments credit, this might actually be the first problem with HADOPI that can’t really be blamed on the government. One could use just about any copyright law to separate users from their money because with the right wording, unwitting people can be scammed even in an environment where copyright laws are actually quite reasonable.
Some might point out that there is little difference between this scam going around in France and the litigation threats being handed out by different corporations in other countries where money is demanded or else users could be taken in to court under the guise of copyright protection.
Still, every week, it seems a new problem with HADOPI arises. I am reminded of Mike Holmes on TV where he shows up at a home to fix a minor structural problem, but as he digs deeper and deeper in to the problem, the more he realizes how huge the problem really is. Same thing applies here. We see three strikes as a constitutional problem and a moral problem. As we dig deeper in to this, we see technological problems, then financial problems, then rights problems, then more technical problems and it almost seems like the list of problems keeps building and building and building.
The scary part in all of this is that there are persistent rumors that ACTA will bring the three strikes law to the rest of the world. After what we are seeing here with the three strikes law in France, this law is extremely problematic and it almost serves as a warning beacon to other countries thinking about adopting similar legislation. Of course, don’t take it from me, take it from Renaud Veeckman, a French citizen who told us during an interview when asked about whether or not the US should adopt a three strikes law a few days ago. Veeckman told us, “they had better wait. At the risk of being ridiculous in a few years”