Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Illegal download (Hadopi): what are the rules?

Verified 30 March 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)


By decision of 20 may 2020 , the Constitutional Council has repealed certain provisions allowing the Hadopi: titleContent penalize those responsible for illegally downloading artistic works. The repeal will take effect on December 31, 2020. In the meantime, the information contained in this page is still valid.

It is forbidden to download works of art covered by copyright without permission or payment. If you download illegally (hack) movies or music, you will receive a 1to warning Hadopi: titleContent by email, then a 2second by mail. If you continue after 2 warnings, you risk being prosecuted and sentenced.

Illegal downloading is the act of acquiring or accessing works (music, films...) via the Internet:

  • Protected by copyright
  • And without any remuneration whatsoever for artists and producers

We also sometimes talk about hacking..

There are several techniques for obtaining or accessing works via the Internet.

These include:

  • The peer to peer or peer-to-peer sharing. With a specific software, you download the work you are looking for from other Internet users who have obtained the same work by the same technique
  • The streaming or streaming. You listen to a song or watch a movie directly on a website without downloading
  • Direct download. A link takes you directly to the desired file. It is stored by one person

These techniques are not illegal in themselves. They can be used for both legal and illegal offers. The user must ensure that they are used correctly. You will only be punished for using the illegal offer.

Please note

you can copy legally acquired works for private purposes. For example, you can copy a purchased DVD and play it on your tablet. That's called the

private copy



The Hadopi: titleContent identifies only the illegal use of peer-to-peer.. You are concerned:

  • If you are the owner of the internet connection used for illegal downloading, the one who signed the contract with the internet service provider
  • Even if it wasn't you who actually downloaded

You must therefore ensure that your connection is used correctly by yourself and your family, in particular your WiFi connection (wireless). You can find out how to secure your connection with your Internet service provider.

The proof will be made not by the download itself, but by the illegal making available of the works. A work uploaded in peer-to-peer becomes available for other users who use the same technique.


Hadopi identifies connections that were used for an illegal download. You will be identified through your service provider.

Within 2 months after the discovery, the Hadopi will send you a recommendation email reminding the rules to be respected. The address used is the one registered with your service provider.

This email does not specify which works are concerned. It is possible to request these elements and to make observations with the Hadopi.

If your connection is found again within 6 months after sending the 1to email, you will receive a new email plus a registered letter with acknowledgement. You can still ask for details about the works concerned.

If 3second the identification is carried out by the Hadopi within 12 months following the 1to email, you will receive notification by post informing you that these facts are subject to prosecution. You will then have 15 days to provide comments. The necessary steps will be specified in the letter.

Your case will then be examined by the Hadopi Rights Protection Board, which may call you. You can also be heard at your request. In all cases, you can have the assistance of the person of your choice at your hearing, including a lawyer.

Who shall I contact

The Commission will then decide to drop the charges or forward your case to the prosecutor.

The competent prosecutor is your home prosecutor.

If the case is transmitted to the public prosecutor, the latter will decide whether or not to prosecute you before the police court..

If the case is brought before the court, you will be tried for gross negligence, i.e. not having ensured the proper use of your internet connection.

The maximum penalty is €1,500 fine.

The prosecutor may also order a alternative to prosecution as a reminder to the law.

It is possible to check the legality of a particular service thanks to this website Hadopi: titleContent..

Search for a legal offer site (movies, music, books, video games)

Some legal sites have official "PUR" or "Hadopi Legal Offer" labels. However, a site can be legal without having these labels.

Also, a free site is not necessarily illegal. There are many legal sites that broadcast free protected works. The remuneration of artists and producers is ensured by other means, including advertising.

On the other hand, some download sites offer to pay a subscription but which is not paid back to the right holders. The dissemination of protected works is therefore prohibited.