HADOPI technically refers to a French government firm called Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet, which translates as the "High Authority for Transmission of Creative Works and Copyright Protection on the Internet".
The term HADOPI has come to also represent anti-piracy laws and measures put into place in France since 2009.
The goal of HADOPI laws is to discourage Internet subscribers from using their connections for the purpose of illegal file sharing. HADOPI brought a "graduated response" action against Internet piracy in France, where a subscriber is warned about illicit activities numerous times before facing Internet account suspension.
This policy has also been dubbed the "three strikes" policy.
HADOPI receives complaints from content providers or their representatives about Internet subscribers illegally sharing copyrighted contents, and will respond in the following ways.
At first, HADOPI will contact the subscriber by e-mail informing them of the suspicion of illegal file sharing activity and some of the potential consequences. The subscriber is also offered to install filtering technology that prevents file sharing on their home network.
If the same subscriber is flagged again within six months of the first notification, HADOPI sends a certified letter to the subscriber's address, with much the same information as the first e-mail. This measure is meant to ensure that a subscriber definitely has received a warning from their ISP.
If the same subscriber is flagged yet again within a year of receiving a certified letter, the ISP is required to suspend Internet access for a period between two months to a year. The subscriber is blacklisted and no other Internet provider in France can sell them access.
While it is possible to appeal the decision in court at this point, it can only possibly end in a reduced suspension.
HADOPI is a very controversial system in France.