Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,

Dear Bruno Lasserre, Vice-President of the Council of State,

Dear Jacques Toubon,

Ladies and gentlemen parliamentarians,

Madam President of the CNIL, dear Marie-Laure Denis,

Mr. Speaker, dear Denis Rapone,

Dear friends,

 

What a joy for me to be with you tonight.

This tenth anniversary of the High Authority for the Dissemination of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet arouses in me, I must say, a certain emotion.

And brings back many memories, necessarily…

Ten years ago, I was on the benches of the National Assembly to support the creation of HADOPI.

I remember the countless hours of auditions...

I remember the endless – and sometimes stormy – debates in the Chamber...

I also remember our pride when the bill was passed. It is still intact today.

Certainly there was a “before” and a “after” HADOPI.

At the time, some accused us of trying to impose an official, sanitized, controlled Internet. To go against the freedom of Internet users; against a free Internet.

Ten years later, it would be illusory to say that this debate is completely closed.

But I deeply believe that we have put an end to an illusion, and triggered an awareness: the illusion of considering the Internet as a perfectly harmonious space without any rules being set, and the realization that it was necessary to regulate it.

Creating HADOPI was about protecting.

Protecting the French cultural model, the diversity of creation.

Protect the rights of creators and artists to their works and performances.

Protecting our artistic heritage, and the authors and businesses we owe it to.

It was to protect all creators, all authors, all artists.

To create HADOPI was to make the choice of regulation.

A regulation that HADOPI teams have been working on every day for 10 years.

I want to pay tribute to their work, and their commitment every moment.

To pay tribute, of course, to the person who presided over it today – dear Denis Rapone – and to those who preceded him in this role – dear Marie-Françoise Marais, dear Christian Phéline.

 

Pay tribute, also:

- To the action of the Secretary General, dear Pauline Blassel;

- To the action of all the members of the commission for the protection of rights, chaired by Dominique Guirimand;

- And to the action of all the members of the college – of which you were a member, Mr. Defender of Rights, dear Jacques Toubon.

We thank you for that, as we thank everyone who has served on it over the last 10 years.

 

All of you have pioneered digital regulation.

We can say it: in this matter, you were the first!

And, as is often the case when you are a pioneer or the first, you have faced many difficulties…

You must have faced repeated attacks.

Relations have not been obvious, with a part of society as with some Governments.

You have not always been supported as you should have been.

Despite everything, you never failed.

You held your ground.

You have tirelessly exercised your mission.

Tonight, I am here to express my gratitude and pride.

For the last 10 years, with HADOPI, you’ve been carrying a fight.

You represent a struggle: against piracy, and for regulation.

This fight is still mine.

It is more relevant than ever.

In recent years, we have been observing the excesses allowed by the major platforms:

- Online disinformation campaigns that manipulate citizens, alter electoral processes, and endanger democracy around the world. 

- Hate speech on social networks and cyber-harassment, which poison lives.

- Recommendation algorithms, which can harm cultural diversity by locking our citizens in predetermined choices.

These findings only confirmed the idea behind the creation of HADOPI: the Internet cannot be a space of lawlessness.

It will only be a space of freedom if certain rules are respected.

It was still hard to hear ten years ago.                                                                                                                                                                             

But today, after years of rampant hate on the Internet, after too many votes influenced by false information, after the Christchurch attack, a consensus is emerging.

Just because digital giants are “giants” doesn’t mean they can escape regulation.

They are now aware of that.

They can no longer hide behind the irresponsibility status they have been claiming.

And we cannot naively rely on self-regulation.

That is not enough.

Platform accountability has become essential.

It is a global challenge, both technological, legal and societal.

We are working to create a legal arsenal to address it.

That is the will of the President of the Republic, and that of the entire government.

We have taken this will to the European level.

We fully mobilized for the adoption of the copyright directive last March.

This is a huge victory – we can never repeat it enough.

It is an ambitious text, which preserves the model of a free and open Internet while empowering the major platforms.

This is proof that Europe is the right level to stand up to the digital giants.

Despite intense and unprecedented pressure from some of them, despite their massive social media disinformation campaigns, Europe has held its own.

Europe has not given in.

Europe has resisted.

This ambition to make platforms more accountable, we are also taking it to the national level.

For several months, at the request of the President of the Republic, we have been working to change the regulation of broadcasting and media:

- With legislation to combat information manipulation, passed last December.

- With the bill to combat hate on the Internet, tabled by MP Laetitia Avia and to be examined in public session in early July.

- With the revision of the 1986 law on audiovisual regulation.

It will be considered by Parliament in early 2020. 

This law is an opportunity for us to update our model of audiovisual regulation; to cross the digital threshold while defending cultural diversity; to modernize our means of action.

This modernization of our means of action will primarily concern the fight against piracy.

For today, our response to this scourge is too partial.

It is no longer suitable.

In ten years, everything has changed.

Technology has evolved, value destruction has accelerated.

By creating HADOPI, we were aiming for peer-to-peer downloading, while hacking is now done at 80% per stream or direct download.

We need to update.

For too long, we have been too interested in those who download illegally, and not enough in those who broadcast illegally.

But they are the ones who organize piracy; they are the ones who prosper plunder.

It is to them that we must attack, firmly.

That is what we will do.

We will target pirate sites directly.

In particular, we will entrust HADOPI with the task of characterizing pirate sites through the publication of “blacklists”.

These will allow advertisers, payment services or search engines to know about illegal sites and to cease any relationship with them.

We will also prevent the resurgence of mirror sites through more effective court decisions.

For this, we will draw on the work carried out in the framework of Laetitia Avia’s bill on the fight against hate on the internet.

These provisions will be included in the next audiovisual law.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Ten years!

Ten years is a good time to look back on all that has been accomplished.

And to trace, together, the one we have to accomplish.

Our new digital regulation model is emerging.

And with him, the new powers of HADOPI.

This new model is a model that will not only be turned on users, but directly on sites.

This is a real paradigm shift.

This new paradigm concerns all aspects, all levels, all the ramifications of digital regulation: the fight against piracy, as much as the fight against infox or hate content.

The various digital regulators are faced with increasingly similar challenges regarding the evolution of their working methods and the skills they require. To regulate digital platforms, it is not possible to apply the same patterns used for more traditional actors: we have to invent a new framework, new tools, innovate.

It is for all these reasons that we have entrusted, with the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire and the Secretary of State in charge of the digital Cédric O, a mission to Jean-Yves Ollier and Godefroy Beauvallet on the possible rapprochement between digital regulators.

They will give me their conclusions very soon.

As far as HADOPI is concerned, the only course that will have to guide our action is that of strengthening the fight against piracy, to give it the means to live up to our ambitions and make it more effective.

Ten years ago, we started this pioneering battle together.

The one about regulation.

We will continue to lead it together.

To make the Internet a space of freedom; a space of respect: respect for our laws, respect for our works, respect for creation.

Thank you.