France

Hollande and Sarkozy: How not to use social media in politics or business

On May 7, 2012, François Hollande took over from Nicolas Sarkozy as President of France.  If, for many, the final vote was read as an indictment against Sarkozy, more than a vote for Hollande, both candidates outdid themselves equally in one area: they were both equally inept at handling the social media opportunity.  

As we reflect on the Obama-Romney duel, one can observe that social media and politics are inextricably linked.  While social media has had a well-noted impact in the Arab Spring and, increasingly, in deeply controlled countries such as Saudi Arabia and China, the relationship has even more impact in a democratic forum, where openness and liberty of expression are enabled, along with the potential for anonymity. 

France’s ‘three strikes’ piracy law hasn’t helped music or movie sales

What’s the best way to stamp out piracy? In France, the entertainment industry was successful in pushing a ‘three strikes’ law that would boot serial infringers from the web.

That went into effect in October 2010. So how’s it doing?

According to HADOPI, the agency tasked with administering and enforcing the law of the same name, things are going just great. 

A report it released, which looked at data for the 17-month period following the law’s implementation, claims that “illegal downloading [is] clearly on the decline in France.”

France saves the music industry

The music business isn’t as easy as it once was, and record labels often blame the internet for that. After all, the internet has enabled piracy on a scale never seen before, which is often cited as a major reason CD sales have declined so much.

While the internet did usher in an era of digital piracy, the truth of the matter is that industries change over time, and the strongest players in them find ways to adapt.

Will California’s woes ‘terminate’ Silicon Valley?

For years, a small region in the western United States has served as a Mecca for
technology entrepreneurs looking to follow in the footsteps of all the
great founders who built their companies in a place known as Silicon
Valley.

Companies including Intel, Apple, Google and Facebook, just to name a few, were all started in Silicon Valley, which is recognized the world over as the premiere source of so much technological innovation.

But are Silicon Valley’s better days behind it? Silicon Valley is located
in California, which was recently named the worst state to do business in
the United States according to Chief Executive Magazine’s annual Best
and Worst States for Business survey. It’s the second year in a row the
state has earned the distinction.

Germany, France to citizens: ditch Internet Explorer

In the wake of the highly-publicized hack attack on Google and other large companies, which some are blaming on Internet Explorer, Germany and France have decided enough is enough. Both countries have warned their citizens that Internet Explorer is not safe and advised them to download alternative browsers.

Somewhat surprisingly, it appears that a good number of citizens are heeding the message. According to the Wall Street Journal, all indications are that the message is getting through. Mozilla, which is behind the Firefox browser, is reporting a “significant surge in downloads” in Germany since the German announcement. Numbers for France are not yet available.