Hadopi Costs $15 Million

The French government is looking at the cost of its copyright enforcement policy and isn’t happy with what it sees.

Culture minister Aurélie Filippetti told Paris-based weekly Le Nouvel Observateur that the three-strikes policy is a failure and described it as “unwieldy, uneconomic and ultimately ineffective.”

Hadopi, the body charged with hunting down illegal file-sharers, has so far sent 1 million warning e-mails and 99,000 registered letters.

This has resulted in 134 cases being examined for prosecution, but so far not one has progressed to the point where an Internet user has been disconnected.

Hadopi has more than 60 agents monitoring Internet piracy and, along with the backup staff, the whole operation has now cost a reported euro 12 million ($14.9 million).

Filippetti also told the magazine that Hadopi has failed in a key part of its mission, which was to foster legal content to replace illegal downloads.

The French government has now launched a consultation to re-examine Internet piracy but Pierre Lescur, who heads the commission into the “Future Of Piracy,” told Le Nouvel Observateur that piracy is so tempting that “only a priest would not yield.”

“The error of Hadopi was to focus on the penalty,” he said. “If one starts from the penalty, it will fail,” he added, pointing out that the sanction of disconnection is “unenforceable” in its current form.