Hadopi: Free’s (legal) rebellion

If you don't live in France you probably don't know that our insane HADOPI three-strike law is now enforced. This week the HADOPI organisation announced that they had sent the first warning letters.

In order to send these letters, they collect data from the ISPs on specific users that HADOPI targets using its own supervision mechanisms. All the ISPs, except Free, that is. Free announced loud and clear that they wouldn't. HADOPI and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the Secretary of State for Prospective Development of the Digital Economy went publically saying that they were not respecting the law…

Turns out they are. There's a French governmental organisation called CNIL (Commission Nationale Information et Libert√©) which regulates how public and private organisations deal with digital information on French citizens. And CNIL has a rule that any exchange of such information between parties needs to be structured by the signing of a convention… which HADOPI hasn't signed.

So Free is entirely within its rights not to forward the names of alleged "digital pirates". And is getting a hell of a lot of free advertising as a consequence, as the wonderful Martin Vidberg ironically illustrates in today's cartoon:

image from vidberg.blog.lemonde.fr
Translation, from top to bottom:

– We will not send warnings without clearance from the CNIL!

– We defend the Freedom of our internet customers!

– Subscribe to Free

– We are cooler than Orange and Bouygues

– Free is great

– Free as a bird

– Free up to 28 Mega Cool