Effects of Three Strikes Law in France

Between 2009 and 2011, the French agency that administers the three strikes law in France against music piracy sent out 822,000 emails to people suspected of illegally downloading music. The agency then sent 68,000 second warnings by mail to uses who were continuing piracy.  Out of the second warning letters, 165 cases were forwarded and counted as the third strike, where courts are now able to impose a $2,600 (2,000 Euros) fine and suspend the users Internet connection for a month.

A study by two universities in the United States found that the three strikes policy lead to an increase of $5 Million (3.8 Million Euros) in sales for Apple’s iTunes in France during the period. The researchers reported that sales of commonly pirated genres such as hip-hop rose after the policy was put in effect, while sales of less pirated music such as Christian and classical music remained the same.

The agency in Franc that administers the policy, Hadopi, employs 70 people and has an annual budget of $92 Million (70 Million Euros).

Source:  Eric Pfanner, “Copyright Cheats Face the Music in France,” New York Times, February 19, 2012.