It seems that a 40-year-old Frenchman who was summoned to court in France under the French anti piracy ‘HADOPI’ three strikes legislation for illegally downloading pirated music, has found himself on the receiving end of a conviction – even though it was his wife who illegally downloaded the two Rihanna songs in question.
PC World report that Alain Prevost was fined for
failing to secure his Wi-Fi network after Prevost self-incriminated himself by
admitting he knew his wife illegally downloaded the songs.
Under French law the “three strikes” are as follows: first, an email
message is sent to the alleged offender: Secondly if the alleged offender
illegally downloads copyrighted material again within the next six months, a
certified letter is sent to the alleged offender: Thirdly if the alleged
offender does not stop downloading illegally within one year from the receipt
of that letter, the offender's Internet Service Provider (ISP) is required to
suspend their Internet access.
According to TorrentFreak, content owners have
identified a total of three million French IP addresses associated with piracy
since October 2010. Of these three million IP addresses identified, 1.15
million were eligible for a first strike, 102,854 eligible for a second strike,
and 340 eligible for a third. Of those 340 just 14 were referred to French
prosecutors. Prevost’s defence (apart from
not actually committing the infringing acts) was that whilst he did receive the
first and second communications, he actually took himself offline as he was
divorcing his wife, and whilst prosecutors say he did not respond at all, he
said he did respond to the third letter and his wife’s lawyer sent a letter to
the HADOPI agency. Prevost also says that as he was offline he received no
further emails from HAPOI. He was then summoned to Paris to explain himself,
but he didn't want to pay the cost of travel for such a (what he assumed)
trivial matter. He was then summoned to his local Police station and despite explaining it was his wife who was the guilty party, ended up in court.
The report says that even with his wife (ex-wife?) as a witness, Prevost was
found guilty by le Tribunal de Police de Belfort of failing to secure his Wi-Fi
network, and was fined 150 euros. The court did not terminate his
Internet connection. If any of our French readers can add to the detail of this report by way of comment, this blogger would be very grateful.