The French body HADOPI, the authority in charge of regulating the country's new three-strikes scheme, has launched a public information campaign about the anti-piracy measures.
Around 260,000 advisory leaflets were distributed to motorists on French highways last weekend (Aug. 21-22) and the same operation will happen this weekend (Aug. 28-29). The campaign targets families traveling in France during the summer holiday period.
The leaflet explains how the three-strikes scheme will work. Warning letters will be sent to those suspected of illegal downloading. In the event of repeat infringement, HADOPI's rights protection committee CPD will submit the file to a judge who can approve an order to cut the offender's Internet access.
The information leaflet states that HADOPI aims to protect authors' rights and ensure that Internet users secure their connections to prevent misuse.
"[The] Internet is a space of freedom, expression and sharing," the leaflet states. "The development of new communications technology allows an increase in cultural exchanges. Our practices are changing and offer greater freedom. Nevertheless, [the enjoyment of] new freedoms brought new responsibilities."
It informs the public that the anti-piracy Creation and Internet law was passed last year to tackle the many people who download copyrighted material illegally. It explains the various links in the process of creating entertainment content and stresses that all those involved need income from sales in order for these sectors to continue.
An Internet subscriber can be fined up to €1,500 ($1,900) as well as having their Internet access suspended for a month, the leaflet explains. However, there are provisions for account suspension for up to a year for the worst offenders. Internet subscribers will have the opportunity to challenge the case against them at each stage, but will not be able to contest the sanctions on the basis that they were ignorant of how their account was abused. Internet account security is a key requirement of the HADOPI regulations.
HADOPI secretary general Eric Walter told Billboard.biz that the body is working on further plans to raise awareness of the new anti-piracy regime this year.
Walter said HADOPI's rights protection committee was already at work, meaning the first warnings regarding copyright infringement could be sent at any moment. There is no confirmed date for the first round of warnings.
The full name for HADOPI is the Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des oeuvres et la protection des droits sur Internet (High Authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights on the Internet).