French pirates dodge tough laws -

It seems that the French government's surrender of its constitution to the movie and music industry has just sent ordinary people to the Bastille.

France was the first to bring in a three strikes and you are out law so that its pint-sized President Nicolas Sarkozy and his attractive wife could hob-nob with film stars.

However rather than stopping the pirates in their tracks the law only appears to be hitting ordinary people.

According to this report at the BBC piracy in increasing in France as people are changing their habits and getting pirated music and movies from sources not covered by the law.

The study says illegal behaviour has increased by three per cent since the law was passed in January.

Over 2,000 net users in Brittany were roped in by researchers Sylvain Dejean, Thierry Penard and Raphael Suire from the Marsouin unit at the University of Rennes. Findings suggest many people have changed their behaviour following the passing of the law.

While P2P piracy is down by 17.1 per cent to 14.6 per cent since October, by contrast, the use of sites and services not covered by the Hadopi law grew by 27 per cent over the same period.

The illegal sites include use of virtual servers and closed forums to swap pirated material.

While 70 per cent of French people do not pirate, half of those who do were regular buyers of digital content. So if the Music and Movie Industry locks them up, they are also jailing their customers which is bad for business.