Hadopi law has no effect on piracy, says study

France’s controversial “three strikes” Hadopi law has had no impact on internet piracy, according to a study by the University of Rennes.

The university found that internet piracy in France had actually increased by about 3% over the three months between September and December, when the law was in operation (although the initial “warning” letters will not be sent until this spring at the earliest).

According to the study’s authors, the law has failed to take account of a switch from peer-to-peer file-sharing (which the law addresses) to streaming and direct download sites. The researchers found that about 20% of internet users now consumed music and videos from such sites, against only 14% that used file-sharing sites.

The study also found that about half of users of legitimate paid-for sites were also users of illegal content, with about 27% also being users of peer-to-peer sites affected by the Hadopi law. As a result, it concluded, the cutting of internet connections of those found guilty of infringing the law could have a significant impact on the legitimate online music and video market.