In France, 92% of Pirates Never Receive a Second Warning Letter…

US-based ISPs are about to start issuing warnings en masse, yet France has been at this since 2009.  The French program, administered by HADOPI, has generated plenty of criticism, but one thing is doesn’t generate is a lot of second or third warnings.  Which probably means most casual file-swapper are either finding alternative means of stealing, or more likely, stopping altogether.

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It also means that this is working, at least on one level.  Here’s a breakdown of first, second, and third letter percentages, including prosecutions.

une, deux, trois…

1.25 million first warnings issued.

100,000 second warnings issued (8%).

340 third warnings issued (2.7%).

Of those that refuse to stop pirating…

14 cases have been referred to prosecutors (0.001%).

Of those, 2 convictions, one fine, and one acquittal have resulted.

The remaining 9 remain under investigation.

The bigger question is whether this actually leads to paid transactions and greater revenue.  Or, is essentially a waste of resources that could be used against pirate operations themselves, or developing other alternatives.  In an attempt to answer this question, we compared sales figures from 2009 to 2012, specifically for the first nine months of each respective year.  The data was supplied by French industry trade group SNEP.

Here’s the resulting breakdown:

  1. Digital Income: Up 62.7% (to 90 million euros)
  2. Income from Subscriptions: Up 159.4% (to 35.8 million euros).
  3. Subscription revenue, as a % of total digital revenue
  4. …in 2012: 39.7%
  5. …in 2009: 25%
  6. Physical Album Sales: Down 29.4% (to 206 million euros)
  7. Overall Recorded Music Sales (Physical+Digital): Down 14.7% (to 296 million euros).

More documentation on 2012 here; 2009 is here.

Written while listening to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

9 Responses

  1. jw

    Digital sales & subscription revenue are going up everywhere & physical sales are going down everywhere. What’s the average growth/decline look like? What does it look like in european countries where this strategy isn’t in place?
    Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, where’s the controlled group that we can compare this data to & make sense of it?
    I’m much more interested in that than what hip new tunes you’re jamming on in the batcave.

    • Pyotr

      Unfortunately my copyright ran out on that one and my publisher doesn’t have the lobbying muscle that Mickey Mouse has.

    • Paul

      Since when is Tchaikovsky a ‘hip new tune’ that you ‘jam’?

      • balbers

        Nah, if you wanna jam some tunes, you gotta throw on some Wagner or Mussorgsky or Holst. Those guys are way more hardcore than Tchaikovsky. Everybody knows that.

  2. Casey

    HADOPI might be stopping your casual torrent pirate. But is it really stopping piracy or is it stopping your old school pirates? Youtube downloaders are becoming immensly popular, yet they wouldn’t be detected by HADOPI nor would most streaming websites. Same goes for the majority of your file lockers. And then of course, for your more technical pirates, the use of Newsgroups or VPNs can also bypass HADOPI detection. HADOPI really has a very limited effectiveness. 92% may never see a second strike, but there are plenty of ways to pirate easier than ever and never produce that second strike.

    • Visitor

      The purpose of HADOPI is to stop ordinary people from stealing. Nobody cares about torrentfreaks.

      • Casey

        And it fails at that purpose, miserably. Ordinary people don’t torrent or file share anymore. Ordinary people use file lockers, Youtube, illegal streaming, etc. HADOPI does nothing to stop these people.

        • Visitor

          “Ordinary people use file lockers”
          They don’t even know what lockers are. But yes, they certainly use the tube.
          It’s just not relevant. YouTube is legitimate today.

  3. Visitor

    Slightly off topic — I read the most fantastic torrentfreak post today.
    This is how pirates think albums are made 🙂
    We probably spend on average about a day per track. That’s 12 days for an album. This includes writing, arranging, recording/producing. It really doesn’t take any longer than about 8 hours to have one song done from start to finish and if it does you’re just dragging your feet.
    Even if you were to be lavish and allow about 3 days per track that’s only just over a month’s work for an album.
    Think how much money the average skilled labourer makes in a month and if you take that as a baseline then that’s about how much an artist should get paid AT MOST for an album from all copies sold.
    Which means that if you sold an album at 5 quid per copy you only need to sell around 300 or 400 copies to more than make a month’s wage you can live on. Release 12 albums a year and you can live on record sales alone (if you’re one of those producer studio-jockey types).
    Education, education, education…