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But will it get the chop? That is the big question.

The budget for the Hadopi, the French State-run administrative body that oversees the 3-strikes measures, looks set to be cut as the new government seeks financial savings. The budget cuts put the future of the 3-strikes measures into question. They could indicate that the Hollande regime is not so enamoured of the graduated response and is prepared to stand up to the copyright industries. In tandem, Hadopi's progress will be examined by a government review that is due to report next March.

The possibility of the Hadopi budget cuts was raised by the French Culture Minister, Aurlie Filippetti, in an interview with the magazine Le Nouvel Observateur. Mme Filippetti is quoted as saying that "12 million euros per year and 60 agents, that is expensive way to send one million emails". On that basis, the cost of the Hadopi is difficult to justify. After the summer recess n September, Mme Filippetti intends to ask for Hadopi's finances to be 'seriously reduced'.

Hadopi's most recent statistics cite 1 million warning emails, 99,000 'strike 2' letters, and only 314 people whose dossiers will be sent to the courts for possible disconnection.

The government review will be headed by a former television executive and director of Canal+, Pierre Lescure, who was appointed on July 3.

Mr Lescure's brief is much wider than Hadopi, and encompasses a general review of the French cultural industries and cinema in the digital era. He has been asked to examine Hadopi against its other brief to develop new business models.

This brief to develop new business models was in the law that set up Hadopi, and it is an official mandate. However, it has had little attention, as the main spotlight has fixed on the 3-strikes enforcement measures and Internet disconnection.

It always seemed as though new business models were included as a kind of sop to ISPs, with no real intention of ever doing anything. The Sarkozy government did set up a 3-man commission under the Hadopi banner, to address new business models. But the inclusion of the former pro-copyright MEP Jacques Toubon on that commission made it seem comic rather than serious. ( See Toubon strikes again - France to tax Google )

It now seems that failure to address new business models could become the stick to beat up the Hadopi and its proponents from the copyright industries.

The new government's position is consistent with the stance taken by Mr Hollande's Socialist Party' in opposing the Hadopi law as it went through the French Parliament. The Hadopi battle was also played out in Brussels.

Aurlie Filippetti would not reveal whether Hadopi will ultimately be abolished. That is the job for Mr Lescure -if he is willing to bite the bullets from the rights-holders.

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To find out more about the development of the Hadopi law, and how this French domestic fight over copyright went to Brussels, see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma .

This is an original article from Iptegrity.com. You may re-publish it under a Creative Commons licence, but you should cite my name and provide a link back to iptegrity.com. Media and Academics - please cite asMonica Horten, Hadopi budget to be slashed as French review 3-strikes, www.iptegrity.com, 3 August 2012 . Commercial users - please contact me

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

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