HADOPI - An ill-adapted, unacceptable, inapplicable and already outdated bill

Paris, April 3rd 2009, press release

April denounces the vote of the French Three Strikes "HADOPI" bill: it contains such extremist provisions that it was unconceivable they would be put into writing. Not only does this bill unilaterally plead for the centralization of information on the Internet, but it also sets new forms of discrimination against Free Software.

The French national assembly adopted1 the HADOPI bill setting a disproportionate process of massive repression against Internet users who exchange files without authorization. The bill has nothing to propose in favour of attractive commercial offers of music and movies for the general public.

The minister for culture Christine Albanel, Rapporteur Franck Riester and almost all the members of parliament of the UMP group (presidential majority) validated new discriminations against Free Software. Despite the mobilization of Free Software employers against HADOPI2, they refused any possibility of limitation of the filtering sniffers that the end-users will have to install to guarantee their legal safety. They have also been opposed to any measure in favour of interoperability and free-market competition. They have also continued to limit the moral right of Free Software authors to disclose their work3.

The dozen of members of parliament who voted this bill intend therefore to shatter the ecosystem - of which most of them know nothing - of 18 millions households connected to the Internet.

"The French president, the French government and the parliamentary majority are acting irresponsibly. They are penalizing a dynamic and innovative economic area by unfairly attacking its protagonists. France is making a fool of itself by sabotaging one of its best assets in terms of competitiveness" declared Frédéric Couchet, April's Executive Director.

"HADOPI shall experience the same fate as DADVSI. This bill is ill-adapted, unacceptable, inapplicable and already outdated. Just like the DADVSI law before, it shall soon end up in the bin of parliamentary history" concluded Benoît Sibaud, President of April.

April's request to the State Council4 had allowed to restore the bypassing of DRM to implement interoperability and reinforce significantly the legal security of Free Software authors, distributors and users. April shall use its means of action in order to protect Free Software authors and users.

April welcomes the involvement of Martine Billard (GDR), Patrick Bloche (SRC), Jean-Pierre Brard (GDR), Jean Dionis du Séjour (NC), Christian Paul (SRC) and Lionel Tardy (UMP) who stood up for Free Software and interoperability during these debates and have shed some light on all the flaws of this bill.