Nearly a decade ago, France was on the anti-piracy enforcement frontline.
The country was the first to introduce a graduated response system, Hadopi, where Internet subscribers risked losing their Internet connections if they were caught sharing torrents repeatedly.
Today this approach is no longer as effective as it once was. The bulk of all online piracy has moved from P2P downloading to streaming, and the latter isn’t traceable by anti-piracy watchdogs.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the French Government, Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen in particular, who highlighted the issue to reporters a few days ago.
“The Hadopi response is no longer suitable because piracy is now 80% by streaming,” she said, quoted by local media.
While Hadopi may have outgrown its usefulness, France is not giving up the piracy fight. On the contrary, the country is now pondering new measures to target the current epidemic of pirate streaming sites.
Nyssen hopes that local authorities will implement a national pirate site blocklist to address the problem. Ideally, this should be constantly updated to ensure that pirate streaming sites remain inaccessible.
The Minister told reporters that France must “act on the sites,” by implementing “a blacklist which is constantly updated to keep them offline”.
This list would be maintained by the Hadopi agency which can then circulate it among several online intermediaries. This can include Internet providers, but also search engines and advertising networks.
The tough language will be music to the ears of the film industry and the timing doesn’t appear to be a total coincidence either.
The comments from the French Minister of Culture come shortly after several film industry groups boycotted a reception at the ministry. According to the groups, France dropped the ball on enforcement against piracy, which is blamed for more than a billion euros in losses.
The renewed promise may calm the waters for a while, but for now, it’s little more than that. It will likely take time before an effective pirate site blacklist is established, if it gets that far.