Imagine doing your democratic duty by e-mailing your member of parliament your opinions of a given issue. Now imagine that e-mail being shown to you by your boss right before you get fired from your day job. Apparently, one mans political opinion is causing a huge stir over in France right now – all over the French Three Strikes law which is currently being debated on again.
It’s being labelled as another black eye for the UMP over the three strikes law. The story goes that a man by the name of Jérôme Bourreau-Guggenheim who works for the French broadcaster, TF1. He sent an e-mail from his private e-mail account to his member of parliament, which just so happens to be a member of the current governing party pushing for the three strikes law. The office then allegedly forwarded that e-mail to the minister of Culture. The minister of Culture then forwarded that e-mail to RF1 apparently for information purposes. Jérôme was then brought in to his bosses office where he was shown a copy of the e-mail and then fired for “strategic differences” with his employer.
ArsTechnica has a nice round-up of French newspapers which discussed the issue.
Supposedly, the consequence of this persons actions was unintended, but it clearly happened anyway. It’s one of those surreal cases where something abstract like something related to copyright somehow manages to bridge itself to reality in a very serious way. Very few people in North American societies believe that having a political stance can cost someone their job – although it does happen in Europe. Additionally, very few people on this side of the pond would think that you could be fired over something that is happening that could affect the internet (although this person did work for an entertainment company) Even the RIAA have a few artists signed to them that believe that file-sharing is a positive thing. This is just a few reasons that make this story so big. No wonder he’s being called a “le premier martyr d’Hadopi.”
Already, the Three Strikes law is being blocked by the European Parliament. Meanwhile, in France, the Three Strikes law sparked protests in the French arts community. Even the government is currently having difficulty passing the law as it was already defeated in France once – only to return once again after that defeat.
This latest revelation is clearly another drastic chapter in an already dramatic saga of the three strikes law in France.