France has a new anti-piracy law (“Hadopi” — not to be confused with “Hutaree”) that disconnects pirates from the Internet after three strikes. A recent study showed that French Internet users are doing less of the kinds of piracy covered by the law (P2P file sharing) and instead are streaming and using download services like Rapidshare.
That’s no surprise, but here’s the interesting part:
The survey also finds that 70 percent of all Internet users surveyed don’t engage in any type of online infringement. Far more users hit legal video sites like YouTube and DailyMotion (48 percent), or go to legal streaming music sites like Deezer (43 percent), or legal download sites like iTunes (22 percent) than engage in any infringing activities.
It’s self-reported, but I think it’s more-or-less true. Most people don’t steal music, even though it’s relatively easy to do. But we’re constantly bombarded by music industry propaganda claiming otherwise, which is used to justify all sorts of draconian proposals. For example, the original Hadopi law would allow disconnects based on three accusations of piracy. The law that finally passed at least requires judicial review.