On Friday the Computer & Communications Industry Association’s Executive Vice President Erika Mann wrote the French copyright enforcement authority, HADOPI, expressing concern about the unintended consequences of a software specification related to the country’s so-called “3 Strikes” law.

HADOPI has asked stakeholders to comment by Oct. 30 on proposed technical characteristics of software that users could be directed toward when accused of infringement.  The specification-compliant software would apparently monitor Internet connections, identify infringers, and possibly filter a user’s Internet content.

Mann, who heads CCIA’s Brussels office, observed that the free market already provided users a wide selection of security software applications. She noted that directing users to install software under the threat of legal penalties would be a bad precedent to set – and one that would be welcome by repressive governments.

Mann added that “in CCIA’s experience, technology mandates are invariably poorly tailored, ad have unintended consequences.”

The controversial HADOPI measure (the law and agency bear the same name) seeks to cut off Internet access to those accused of sharing copyrighted material illegally.  When HADOPI gets a complaint from a rightsholder, it sends a letter to the Internet user advising him or her to install software to secure their Internet connection – presumably from being hijacked by others who would use their Internet access to transmit material illegally.

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