ArtsWatch: France Calls Three-Strikes Out

France will no longer disconnect consumers from the Internet for copyright infringement
July 15, 2013 -- 7:21 am PDT
By Philip Merrill /

In recent news ...

France Changes Its Approach To Combating Consumer Internet Piracy
On July 9 France's Ministry of Culture announced a major revision to the HADOPI law's three-strikes graduated response strategy that has threatened consumers with blocking their Internet access as an ultimate penalty for repeated copyright infringement. Consistent with recommendations in Pierre Lescure's May report, graduated response notifications will now focus on educating consumers but could ultimately result in a small fine. In the months ahead the French government will develop a fresh roadmap to combat commercial Internet piracy based on a multi-stakeholder approach, including online providers of search, advertising and payment processing as well as social media.

Continued Progress Toward Pan-European Online Music Market
European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs unanimously approved on July 9 proposed regulatory language for royalty collecting societies to continue progress toward easy online music licensing across Europe's single market as well as prompt payments to creators. The ruling follows the summer 2012 proposal by the European Commission for a new EU directive. The European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers expressed its general satisfaction with parliament's latest development, but was also concerned collecting societies' governance would be exposed to outside interference.

Google Books' Fair Use Claims To Be Reconsidered
On July 1 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the U.S. District Court's 2012 class certification in Authors Guild v. Google calling on the lower court to determine the merits of Google's fair use defense. Google argued that many of the authors of works scanned by the search engine would benefit from Google Books, and the class certification unfairly lumps together diverse interests. Summarizing the ruling, the Authors Guild noted in a blog, "If Google's fair use defense requires a book-by-book analysis, then this would weigh against class certification. If a fair use ruling can be made more broadly, then judicial economy is more likely to weigh on the side of class certification." Google said it was "delighted by the court's decision."

.NYC Highlights New gTLD Rollout
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the upcoming availability of .NYC on July 2, saying it "puts New York City at the forefront of the digital landscape and creates new opportunities for our small businesses." That forefront is going to be a crowded space as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers proceeds with its plans to roll out hundreds of new generic top-level domains. On July 3 ICANN announced the finalization of its baseline registry agreement, providing a system of procedures meant to protect trademark holders as registries begin offering the new domain-name suffixes. Protections include creation of a one-stop trademark clearinghouse, a take-down procedure for infringing domains, and a complaint process trademark owners can use to confront registry operators who infringe.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

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