The first emails have landed in the mailboxes of French "pirates". Hadopi, the French government agency created in 2009 to fight online piracy, has moved into action just before the end of the year, greeted with more derision than fear.
Hadopi, which stands for Haute autorité pour la diffusion des œuvres et la protection des droits sur internet, is probably the most ambitious attempt, worldwide, to fight internet piracy. The government hopes it will help change attitudes towards illegal practices by younger internet users. But its critics predict it could become a massive and expensive bureaucratic white elephant, if not a threat to public freedoms.
It's a cyber version of "three strikes and you're out"