You may know that France has implemented a system called Hadopi about one and a half year ago. It is basically a monitoring and response system that is sending out three warning letters to alleged file sharers, with the third letter suspending the Internet account of that user for a year, and a fine of up to €1500 on top of it.
A report has been published recently that aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of Hadopi, and the figures it produces look impressive. Audience levels and illegal data sharing are all down in 2011 by figures between 17% and 66%.
The report looked at file hosting alternatives, and compared the site's traffic in 2010 to the traffic in 2011. They came to the conclusion that users did not flock to file hosting sites instead to download media from the Internet.
With piracy going down that much in a year's time, one would expect sales to go up as a consequence. Lobbyists mentioned time and time again that every copied book, film or album is a lost sale for the industry. If we take that into account, we should see an incredible rise in sales in 2011 in France.
The report fails to deliver those information, and prefers to demonstrate that online platforms where media can be purchased legally have increased in France at the same time.
According to Telecompaper, France's digital music industry grew by 25% in 2011, while the physical sale of music dropped by 11.5% in the same time resulting in a total decline of music sales in France by 3.9% in 2011.
As far as the movie industry goes, video sales have been down as well by 2.7% in 2011, with video-on-demand on the rise by more than 50% in 2011.
What does that tell us? While Hadopi managed to cut down the file sharing use in France, it did not at the same time revive the market as overall music sales dropped as well. What are some of the explanations for this?
When you look at other countries, you will notice that music sales are up in some of the them, while down in others. The New York Times for instance reports that music album sales in the United States are up in 2011 by 1.3%, while the Guardian reports a decline in sales by 5.6% in the UK.
Hadopi is effective in cutting down file sharing, but it fails to deliver when it comes to reviving sales in France. One could now argue that the system is pointless. What's your take on it?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.