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Censorship Government Politics

In France, Fired For Writing To MP Against 3 Strikes 379

Posted by kdawson
from the nous-sommes-desolees dept.
neurone333 sends along the cause célèbre of the moment in France: 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. Hit the link below for some background on the ties between TF1 and the Sarkozy government.

The Irish times has an explanation for the incestuous relationship between his government and TF1: "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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In France, Fired For Writing To MP Against 3 Strikes

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  • by Zumbs (1241138) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:18AM (#27895771) Homepage
    I don't know if he can sue, but under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [un.org], which France has ratified, it is illegal to discriminate someone because of their political views.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:19AM (#27895775)

    "They employ such tactics"

    That is how power games are played, in every country. Find ways to undermine opponents. But unfortunately so many of the general public (non-technical) still seem to believe, if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide from political and corporate people. Knowledge is power and power is the ability to manipulate others, even if that means getting someone fired.

  • by mad flyer (589291) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:45AM (#27895895)

    Parent is not flamebait. Parent is unfortunately spot on.

    This president is a shame for France and an embarassment... FOR MANKIND... It's an half drunk idiot with the IQ of a toiletbowl broomstick.

    He played the "small people" card during the campain and now play with all the vulgarity of a new rich the "people" card. The incarnation of the 3B Booze Babes Backchich. He's tightening the immigration law to a point where his parents (who are not French) would not have been allowed to stay. Promoting family value as much as family members. Have an ill informed opinion on everything. The posterchild of the "if i'm here that must be because I'm good for the job". Now ALL the previous governement are remember with nostalgia. This dwarf should not even be a janitor as he might find way to abuse the little power he got on the toilet paper stockpile.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:50AM (#27895925)
    It could be worse. You could have Silvio Berlusconi as President. Or Gordon Brown.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10, 2009 @09:01AM (#27895995)

    Sarkozy (noun):

    • A malodorous amalgamation of Tony Blair and Silvio Burlusconi
    • The figurehead for US imperialism in France

    Someone was telling me the other day about Sarkozy trying to speak in a working class accent. Similar I guess to Tony Blair favouring Estuary English over received pronunciation. I can't find any articles on it, although I have only searched English language.

  • Re:Unfamiliar? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Whammy666 (589169) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @09:13AM (#27896031) Homepage
    For a country that has a reputation for socialism, this sounds a lot like fascism.

    BTW, I would have thought that after the telco immunity vote, the bailouts, secret copyright treaties, and other such nonsense that the US would be familiar with corporations being entangled in govt.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10, 2009 @09:29AM (#27896115)

    Yes, he can take it all the way to the EU court of justice and it's not without precedent for a difference between employer and employee to make it all the way to that level. See Bosman Ruling [wikipedia.org].

    There's no way this guy is going to loose if he's willing to spend the time and effort to fight it. But he might have mouths to feed in the meantime.

  • by iris-n (1276146) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @09:45AM (#27896209)

    He can and will. Here's a better source [ecrans.fr] (in french).

    In a nutshell, his lawyer's case is as the parent said, and quoting her: "This is discrimination, a felony of opinion, it is just scandalous."

    It will be intresting to follow this case. I'd be very happy if someone can do something against TF1.

  • by Beretta Vexe (535187) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @09:52AM (#27896253)

    It was send from his private e-mail address, he used his name and explain why he was so concern by this law because of his job. Nothing wrong here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10, 2009 @10:37AM (#27896529)

    The previous head of the national oil company, Eivind Reiten, privately submitted a view to the EU that he thought private interests should be able to buy property rights to waterfalls.

    This is heavily against the ruling Labour Party's politics, and their council representative Jan Bohler said in an interview that they were going to get rid of him for that reason. He is now gone.

    It's a funny state and funny state of mind when the government considers itself rightfully able to remove business leaders who don't agree with their politics.

  • by O'Nazareth (1203258) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @10:54AM (#27896695)

    It's been done that way before.

    Citation needed!

  • by digitig (1056110) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @11:19AM (#27896881)

    Because you are a member of a religion does in no way make you a religious person, and you can easily be part of a church and remain atheistic. Read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion for some more facts on the subject.

    Er, no. There are plenty of books that will make the point that "Because you are a member of a religion does in no way make you a religious person, and you can easily be part of a church and remain atheistic", and come to that there are plenty that make strong arguments for the non-existence of any god, but The God Delusion is neither of those, and not the place to look for facts on any subject. It's damn fine rhetoric, but if you dig then you find it rather light on substance.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @12:04PM (#27897209) Journal

    I started to pick apart your reply until I saw the last part of your statement. I think we are on the same page and personally, I understand that corporations are people and should have the power to lobby government.

    But I think the difference that you are looking for is in the make up of the representation. A corporation represents the entirety of the corporation which includes the owners, employees, and customers to varying degrees. A church represents it's congregation which can be the same people. But the major differences here are the voluntary associations.

    In a church, everyone (*unless their parents are forcing them to attend) is doing so of their own free will. This makes a church much the same as the ARP or NAACP, or NRA, or what ever group of people who come together for a common cause and the benefits of those causes. The only voluntary associations with a corporation is the handful of owners compared to the employees which are paid to be there and customers which in some cases are missing the benefits of the corporation's lobbying efforts. In fact, I would say sometimes the employees are missing the benefits too.

    So in contrast, a corporation that has 10,000 people behind it may only be reflecting the owners wishes which could be as little as one person of just a couple hundred of people while it appears to be larger. With a church, you can find another church to go to so similar representation of 10,000 is likely to reflect a lot more people in the community then a corporation.

    It does seem that I misconstrued your original position but I think this sort of segregates some of the differences. Personally, I don't care if corporations have the power as long as it's public knowledge and political conversations happen to the extent that we at least know how many people the corporation actually represents on any given position. Obviously, if the employees don't agree with their position, they shouldn't be counted as being in agreement. It's a little more difficult to find a new job then to find a new church or gun rights club or senior citizens group or anti oppression group or whatever. So I think some protections against being fired for political views should be made but I wouldn't want it to be so construed that you couldn't fire someone for telling lies about the company or something to advance their agenda.

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @12:40PM (#27897505) Journal

    How do you sue a company that is basicly in control of the government?

    Threaten to sue the law changes to say its impossible to sue that company!

    Is the company in control of the government, or is the government in control of the company?

    You imply a difference where one does not exist. The same people run both.

  • by FrozenGeek (1219968) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @01:24PM (#27897837)

    This is why Thomas Jefferson thought corporations represented a danger to liberty. Corporations control the politicians, not us.

    Also if this precedent is allowed to stand, what's next? "I heard from colleaques you voted Libertarian." "Um, yeah I didn't like either McCain or Obama." "

    I suggest that that is not the correct answer, regardless of how you voted. The more appropriate answer would be "That's interesting. I did not tell anyone how I voted and we have a secret ballot in this country. Those 'colleagues' are either lying or they have violated electoral law. I expect you will take appropriate disciplinary measures on the those 'colleagues'."

  • by bar-agent (698856) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @03:54PM (#27899019)

    Second, you are free to practice the faith of your choice or not, period.

    "One nation, under God".

    Really? Seems someone didn't get the memo then.

    The pledge of allegiance was written by a minister in 1892. He didn't put the words "under God" in it. They didn't get added until 1954, during the height of the battle against the godless Commies. And since then, the pledge has been under criticism for those words.

    So we did in fact get the memo.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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