France establishes new anti-piracy agency

France has established a new regulatory body – an anti-piracy agency Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique (ARCOM). It is created by merging two already existing agencies Hadopi (La Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des œuvres et la protection des droits sur internet est une autorité publique indépendante) and CSA (Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel). Launching  its work in January 2022, ARCOM will have a wide authority as described in the  law on ‘the regulation and protection of access to cultural works in the digital age, officially published this week. 

In particular, ARCOM will be setting obligations to protect copyright and the fight against piracy, fake news and hate content. It will oversee subscription video platforms with the obligations incumbent on them, as well as protection of minors. ARCOM will also establish a system to combat “mirrors”, sites that help to facilitate access to platforms previously blocked following earlier enforcement actions. Measures can include more blocking or search engine delisting. It is intended that ARCOM will be responsible for enforcement of content takedowns under the EU’s Digital Services Act, once adopted.