Business Matters: 700,000 French ISP Subscribers Have Received an Infringement Warning
Business Matters: 700,000 French ISP Subscribers Have Received an Infringement Warning

700K French ISP Subscribers Have Received an Infringement Warning
-- Nearly 700,000 ISP accounts in France have received at least one copyright infringement warning as part of the country's anti-piracy efforts. Sixty ISP account holders in France are facing their "third strike" from the country's anti-piracy authority Hadopi, according to a report at TorrentFreak. A third strike could result in a small fine (about 1,500 euros) and disconnection of Internet for up to one month.

Last month there were 650,000 ISP account holders in the "first strike" stage, up from 471,000 in February. About 44,000 account holders have received a second warning.

Warnings have been sent out to account holders since October 2010. Rights holders are responsible for sending notices of infringements to the Hadopi agency. Hadopi then emails a warning to the ISP subscriber accused of infringement and monitors the account. A second warning is sent if a rights holder, the ISP or Hadopi suspects another infringement. A third warning within a year could result in punishment. An appeals process is available in the third warning phase.

This is the first Hadopi news that puts the scale of the undertaking into perspective. Until now there had not been any indication about the number of infringement notices that were being sent to ISPs and how many warnings were being passed on to ISP subscribers. But these numbers suggest Hadopi is reaching a good portion of France's Internet users.

Between the subscribers in all three stages of warnings, France has about 694,000 ISP subscribers who have received up to three warnings. That's a pretty large number considering the country had about 22 million broadband subscribers in the first quarter of 2011, according to numbers available from ARCEP, the regulatory agency that oversees the country's electronic communications. Based on that figure, about 3% of the country's broadband subscribers have received at least one infringement notice.

To put those numbers in perspective, if the United States had equal proportions of subscribers in each of the three levels of Hadopi's warning system, there would be 3.2 million subscribers with one strike, 21,700 subscribers with two strikes and about 300 subscribers with three strikes.

Belgian Court Instructs IPSs to Block Pirate Bay: Report
-- Belgian ISPs Belgacom and Telenet have been instructed by a court to block their customers' access to popular torrent site the Pirate Bay, according to multiple reports. The two ISPs have 14 days to meet the court's order. This ruling reverses a lower-court ruling that the ISP blocking was a "disproportionate" response and not required for the two ISPs. The Pirate Bay was unfazed by the ruling and is happy for the extra attention. "Thanks for the free advertising," a site spokesperson told TorrentFreak.
(The Inquirer, TorrentFreak)

R.I.P.: Zune HD
-- Microsoft has confirmed the death of the Zune HD.

Apple Touts Impressive Numbers At Presentation
-- Here are some of the numbers Apple gave during its iPhone presentation on Tuesday:

Apple has sold more than 300 million iPods and has a 78% share of the U.S. portable music player market (market share taken from an August 2011 NPD report); it sold 45 million iPods from July 2010 to June 2011; Apple customers have downloaded 16 billion songs; iTunes now has 20 million songs; the company has a Mac installed base of 58 million and a 23% share in the United States (also from the August 2011 NPD report); developers have created 140,000 apps for the iPad; Apple customers have downloaded 18 billion apps; and in all there are 250 million devices running Apple's iOS operating system.

Investors Mixed On Apple Media Event; Stock Drops
-- Investors appeared to have mixed reactions to Apple's media event Tuesday. The company's stock dropped about 5% during the presentation. But optimism prevailed as other investors stepped in and pushed share prices back up. Apple shares finished the day down 0.6 percent at $372.50. The 43.8 million shares traded Tuesday was about twice the normal trading volume.

Online reaction was both mixed and muted. Many experts noted the lack of a new, killer product -- perhaps they were disappointed Apple did not debut a new design for the iPhone. Noted Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said the presentation "left you wanting more," and predicted the long lines for the new iPhone 4S "could have been longer, if they would've just gone to a four-inch screen" on the device.

But other analysts were pleased with what they saw. "The iPhone 4S appears to be a solid product, with several meaningful upgrades, though there were no significant upside surprises," wrote RW Baird's William Power, who reiterated his "outperform" rating on the company's stock, according to Barrons.

Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities held his "buy" rating and price target of $666. "We would be buyers on any weakness today," he wrote.