French ‘Three Strikes’ law fails to cut piracy

Remember that French “three strikes” law, Hadopi? Ars Technica reports that a recent study has shown that it has had no significant effect in getting people to stop downloading content illicitly.  In the survey of 2,000 French Internet users, 37.6% admitted to illicit downloading. Those who knew about the Hadopi monitoring were no less likely to download illicitly, though there was a slight (but “insignificant”) decrease in the intensity of their downloading. (And the people who knew it was monitoring thought it was monitoring more than it really was!) There was a slight bump in sales, but that was considered more likely due to a publicity campaign.

As Ars notes, Hadopi has been unpopular enough that the government already backed off from its planned punishment of cutting off Internet after three strikes, and it’s lost funding as well. Pretty clearly, the threat of monitoring is not enough to make people behave. Perhaps the owners of these media properties should look at ways of making buying their work legally more appealing?

The kind of odd thing is that this study seems to say the opposite of a study from a couple of years ago, which said Hadopi did cut piracy but didn’t boost sales. Go figure, huh?

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