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19 May 2011, 11:44

Report: data leak slows French copyright agency

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Padlock icon Hadopi, the French agency responsible for prosecution of copyright infringers, best known for its implementation of a "three-strikes" policy law for banning copyright infringers from the internet, has been slowed down due to a data breach.

Hadopi relies on a single company, Trident Media Guard (TMG), to monitor file sharing networks and collect IP addresses. A french journalist located a very insecure TMG server on the internet and was able to take TMG internal use only software and scripts and IP addresses from the server and reportedFrench language link on the insecure server.

TMG apparently claimed it was a test serverFrench language link but Hadopi's Secretary-General Eric Walter, said on TwitterFrench language link that as a precaution, the agency had turned off it's connection with TMG but did not provide further information on why this was needed. This means that currently Hadopi is unable to identify new copyright infringers on file sharing networks.

The Hadopi law, "Loi favorisant la diffusion et la protection de la création sur Internet" or "law promoting the distribution and protection of creative works on the internet", was introduced in 2009 and enforcement began in early 2010. Copyright infringers are sent an email warning on their first detected offence, then, on a second offence, a certified letter. On a third offence, the ISP is required to suspend internet access for up to one year and after that there is the possibility of fines up to €300,000 (£264,000) and up to three years imprisonment.


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