French “3-Strikes” to Disconnect Users of Illegal Streaming Sites?

French “3-Strikes” to Disconnect Users of Illegal Streaming Sites?

Jacques Toubon, member of the board of the High Authority for the dissemination of works and protection of rights on the Internet (Hadopi), says that illegal streaming is “included in the existing law,” and that all that is needed is a “statutory extension” so that it can “apply a flexible response.”

Anti-P2P efforts are often conceived with little knowledge of how they’ll actually function in the real world it seems, and recent comments made by France’s former Minister of Culture and current member of the board of the High Authority for the Dissemination of works and Protection of rights on the Internet (|HADOPI), Jacques Toubon, prove the point.

HADOPI is the the govt agency established by France’s “Creation and Internet” law that is tasked with forwarding IP addresses suspected of copyright infringement to ISPs on behalf of copyright holders. The first letters, or strikes, we’re sent out last October, and a study has shown that only 4% were to quit.

Now Toubon is making the graduated response system seem even more ridiculous by claiming that the the ‘Creation and Internet” law also covers illegal streaming and that users of these sites will be targeted just like users of illegal P2P applications and services.

He says all that is needed is a “statutory extension to apply a flexible response” which, he claims, will happen “all in good time.”

It’s amazing that he even thinks that users of illegal streaming sites could be monitored. Short of demanding sites turn over the IP addresses of anyone viewing copyrighted material at a given moment there’s no way to monitor the exchange of content.

Direct connect-style P2P and BitTorrent are easy to identify people suspected of illegal file-sharing because their IP addresses agree made public via an actual connection or as part of a BitTorrent swarm.

Illegal steaming poses a challenge for copyright protection efforts because of the difficulty in identifying users. The only way to reasonably try and prevent the illegal practice is by filtering and blocking streaming websites, but that raises a whole other set of concerns that likely weren’t discussed when the “Creation and Internet” law was passed into law.

Stay tuned.

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