Mitterrand threatens Free over Hadopi

French culture and communication minster Frédéric Mitterrand has described service provider Iliad Telecom/Free’s alleged practice of not forwarding so-called Hadopi emails to its subscribers as “unacceptable”.

The first emails to be delivered to internet users accused of infringing copyright by illegally downloading content were due to be sent out on October 1. Under the so-called Hadopi law, persistent infringers can have their internet services cut off after three warnings.

Free said it respected the law but had not forwarded the emails to respect the confidentiality of its users’ personal data. However, Mitterrand said that ISPs that did not respect the law would face judicial and financial sanctions.

Cable operator Numericable has also signaled its opposition to the kind of policy adopted by Free. The operator said that blocking Hadopi emails put subscribers at risk by preventing them from protecting or defending themselves from possible legal sanctions. The first emails were scheduled to go out on October 1, but were delayed in some cases due to “coordination mistakes”, according to the operator.

Numericable said it wasn’t making any judgement on the merits of the law, but that it blocking emails did nothing to protect internet users.