Sunday, May 10, 2009

France and Freedom of Speech: the HADOPI case AGAIN!

This is not the first time that we have called into question freedom of speech in France, but this is a pretty 'good' one.

Here's "le premier martyr d'Hadopi." - a man sacked by a French tv channel for criticizing HADOPI to his Member of Parliament(see our previous post)
A Web executive working for TF1, Europe's largest TV network, sends an email to his Member of Parliament opposing the government's "three strikes and you're out" proposal, known as Hadopi. His MP forwards the email to the minister backing Hadopi, who forwards it to TF1.

The author of the email, Jérôme Bourreau-Guggenheim, is called into his boss's office and shown an exact copy of his email.

Soon he receives a letter saying he is fired for "strong differences with the [company's] strategy" — in a private email sent from a private (gmail) address. French corporations and government are entangled in ways that Americans might find unfamiliar. (Slashdot)
This should not be a surprise given the "incestuous relationship" between French president Sarkozy and Europe's largest TV network
TF1's owner, the construction billionaire Martin Bouygues, is godfather to Mr Sarkozy's youngest son, Louis. Mr. Bouygues suggested to Mr. Sarkozy that he ought to ban advertising on TF1's rival stations in the public sector, which was done in January.
Laurent Solly, who was deputy director of Mr. Sarkozy's presidential campaign, is now number two at TF1.
Last year, TF1 sacked Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, the station's star presenter for the previous 21 years. Poivre had angered Mr Sarkozy by saying he "acted like a little boy" at a G8 summit. He was replaced by Laurence Ferrari. Mr. Sarkozy reportedly told Mr. Bouygues he wanted to see the young blond on the news.


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