piracy in France
  • French anti-piracy has been very busy in 2019, breaking all previous records of prosecution numbers.
  • Already, they have sent out more than six hundred thousand warning notices to pirates in the country.
  • Many of them paid fines and damages, while 86 received criminal convictions from public courts.

According to stats published by Hadopi, the French government agency which deals with the distribution and protection of intellectual property on the internet, pirates in the European country have had a very rough year thus far. More specifically, from January 2019 until August 2019, Hadopi has sent approximately 644000 warning notices to internet users in the country who have been confirmed to be engaged in copyright infringement activities. About 74% of these notices reached first-time offenders, while the remaining 16% concerned repeat infringers. A very small number (86) faced a criminal conviction, while thousands received fines and minor punishments.

The above indicates that Hadopi is very active in France and that they are by no means willing to let casual piracy go unpunished. Those who received the warning notices for the first time will need to be very careful. A second-strike within a period of six months means fines or other forms of punishment, depending on the extent of the pirating activities. If someone gets a third strike notice within 12 months, then Hadopi has the option to refer the case to the public prosecution. This was the fate of 1149 cases in 2019 so far, which obviously began back in 2018.

The number is already greater than the corresponding figure for the whole of 2018, throughout which 1045 cases found their way to the court halls. As Hadopi maintained the same practice and punishment policy since 2009, we can only deduce that the notable increase is attributed to the rising piracy rates in France, and/or the better collaboration between the local ISPs and Hadopi. As we reported in May, Hadopi is following what is going on in the pirating scene very closely, and knows what the French like and pay for.

Of the 1149 cases that were referred to the justice authorities in 2019 so far, 301 were settled without prosecutions, 199 people received an official caution notice by the court, and 64 cases received fines between 100 and 500 Euros. Of the 86 cases that received a criminal conviction, 31 were asked to pay a 350 Euros in fines and another 300 Euros in damages, while another 47 repeat infringers paid fines of up to 1000 Euros. Remember, if you want privacy and safety while browsing the net from France, you should check out our list with the five best VPN products for this purpose.

Do you believe that Hadopi’s activities will have a notable effect in fighting piracy, or are the French going to keep on doing their thing anyway? Let us know what you think in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.