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Trading restrictions

FRANCE

Reported inj 2011

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwidth, net neutrality
Practice of bandwidth prioritization
France Telecom has been investigated for offering better network bandwidth to companies related to Orange in detriment of its competitors. For instance, Cogent accused Orange to restrict access to its content by privileging the traffic of its subsidiary Dailymotion over that of YouTube.
Coverage OTT services
Trading restrictions

FRANCE


Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Blocking of web content
All French Internet service providers (ISPs) must prevent customers from accessing unlicensed online gambling sites. The French government reimburses ISPs for any additional cost incurred when implementing the DNS restrictions.
Coverage Online gambling
Trading restrictions

FRANCE

Reported in 2013

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
European Court of Justice rulingn - Case C-314/12 "UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH and Wega
Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbH"
The European Court of Justice has interpreted in 2014 that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may be ordered by national courts to block customer access to a copyright-infringing websites. This ruling aims to limit online piracy.

Already before the ECJ interpratation, ISPs in France were ordered to block several video streaming sites, including Allostreaming for copyright infringment.
Coverage Internet service providers (ISPs)
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since 2004

Chapter Intermediary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liability
Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des œuvres et la Protection des droits d'auteur sur Internet (HADOPI Law)
Directive 2000/31/EC (e-Commerce Directive) states that Member States should not impose on providers a general obligation to monitor the information which they transmit or store, nor a general obligation actively to seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity.

However, the French HADOPI law introduces indirect monitoring requirements by implementing a "three strike" procedure for copyright infringements. According to the law, following a notice, an individual downloader may receive a warning that he/she is in breach of the law and may eventually, in case of repeated infringement, be cut off from internet access.
Coverage Internet intermediaries
Restrictions on data

FRANCE


Chapter Intermediary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liability
Court rulings
The Tribunal de Grande Instance held that the social network service MySpace goes beyond offering technical hosting activities by offering an architecture based on frames and by receiving advertisement revenue linked to the content that is viewed and therefore could not benefit from a liability exemption.

In a similar note, the Cour d'Appel de Paris considered that the fact that a site is allowed the classification and structuring of certain information provided by users did not imply an editing activity and, therefore, aggregator of news article links, provided by users, could benefit from a liability exemption for hosting.
Coverage Blogs, discussion fora and social
networks
Restrictions on data

FRANCE


Chapter Intermediary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liability
Court rulings
The Paris Commercial Court considered that the liability exemption for hosting activities does not apply for eBay because eBay plays an active role in promoting sales with the objective of increasing profits by, for instance, appointing sales managers, creating online "boutiques" and offering the option of becoming a "power seller".

In another case, however, the Paris Civil Court considered that eBay’s activities are covered by the definition of hosting because it was not an editor as it could not be proven that eBay checks the messages that users post on the site.

In yet another case, the Paris Civil Court considered that eBay could benefit from a liability exemption only for those activities that are covered by the definition of hosting of Article 14 of the E-Commerce Directive and eligible for the liability exemption. The eBay's selection of "daily deals" could not be covered.
Coverage Online auctioning services
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since 2004

Chapter Intermediary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liability
Directive 2000/31/EC (e-Commerce Directive)

Law No. 2004-575 of June 21, 2004, For Confidence in the Digital Economy
The Directive 2000/31/EC (E-Commerce Directive) is the legal basis governing the liability of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) in the EU Member States and includes a conditional safe harbor. The Directive covers any type of infringement of third-party rights, including intellectual and industrial property rights and personality rights.

The limitations on liability in the Directive apply to clearly delimited activities (mere conduit, caching and hosting) carried out by internet intermediaries, rather than to categories of service providers or types of information. While it was not considered necessary to cover hyperlinks and search engines in the Directive, the Commission has encouraged Member States to further develop legal security for Internet intermediaries.

Since not all Member States have transposed the relevant articles consistently, the national case law is divergent and leads to legal insecurity on an EU level.

In France, the Law No.2004-575 for confidence in the digital economy implements limitations of liability provided in the e-Commerce Directive. There are no specific exemptions for linking providers and their liability is decided by court interpretations.
Coverage Internet intermediaries
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since 2012

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Other
Decree No. 2012-436 of March 30, 2012 amending the Code of Electronic Communications
Through a decree amending the Code of Electronic Communications, France has included a “territorial” restriction requiring that the systems for interception of electronic communications must be established in France.
Coverage Systems for interception of electronic communications
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since December 2013
Entry into force in January 2015

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Administrative requirements on data privacy
Military Programming Law - Law No. 1168 - 2013
In December 2013, France adopted the Military Programming Law permitting both the security forces and intelligence services from various ministries (defense, interior, economy and budget) to see “electronic and digital communications” in “real time”. Under the law, agencies have until 48 hours after surveillance has begun to seek approval from the National Commission for the Control of Security Intercepts (CNCIS) president and can continue while awaiting his/her decision. The law came into force in January 2015.
Coverage "Electronic and digital communications"
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since May 2014

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Personal rights to data privacy
C-131/12 - Google Spain SL and Google Inc. v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja González
In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals are entitled to seek the deletion of links on search engines about themself if "the data appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed". The ruling is therefore recognizing the so-called right to be forgotten.

France enforces the ECJ decision trough its the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL). In March 2016, it fined Google €100,000 for not applying Europe’s right to be forgotten across the search engine’s global network of sites.
Coverage Search engines
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since 2006

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Data retention
Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC

Judgment European Court of Justice in Joined Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12 Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and Others

French Decree No 2006-358
Under the Directive on Data Retention, operators were required to retain certain categories of traffic and location data (excluding the content of those communications) for a period between six months and two years and to make them available, on request, to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of investigating, detecting and prosecuting serious crime and terrorism. On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the Directive invalid. However, not all national laws which implemented the Directive have been overturned.

France has not overturned the data retention law (French Decree No 2006-358) and, therefore, telecommunication operators, both internet and phone operators, must retain their data for one year.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Restrictions on data

FRANCE

Since April 2016

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on cross-border data flows
Ministerial Circular from 5 April 2016 - Note d'information du 5 avril 2016 relative à l'informatique en nuage (cloud computing)
A ministerial circular dated 5 April 2016 on public procurement states that it it illegal to use a non "sovereign" cloud for data produced by public (national and local) administration: all data from public administrations has to be considered as archives and therefore stored and processed in France.
Coverage Public sector
Establishment restrictions

FRANCE


Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to business mobility
Restrictions on business mobility
For intra-corporate transferees (ICT), the salary must be 1.5 times higher than the minimum salary.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • GTA; I-TIP.WTO.ORG; GTA; USTR; MADB EC; TMDB
Establishment restrictions

FRANCE

Since 2011

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Quotas, Labour Market Tests, Limits of Stay
Law 2011-672 of June 16, 2011, on Immigration, Integration and Nationality, Article 17
For intra-corporate transferees (ICT), contractual service suppliers (CSS) as well as independent service suppliers (ISS), there are labour market tests performed by the Prefect, which take into account the market for the occupation and the geographical area in which a request is being made and the match between the foreigner's qualification, experience, degrees or diploma and the features of the job which the applicant applies for.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

FRANCE

Reported in 2015

Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
Access to major supplier network
It is reported that several operators in Member States of the European Union, including France, Germany and the Czech Republic, are charging higher rates for the termination of international traffic originating from outside the EU than for international traffic between sovereign states inside the EU. This has been identified as a barrier by the USTR 2015 Section 1377 Review On Compliance with Telecommunications Trade Agreements.
Coverage Telecommunication sector