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Thursday News: Popular French blogger sued, authors hope to solve the...

“What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people,” she added.

The judge told Ms Doudet to amend the title of the blog and to pay €1,500 ($2,000; £1,200) in damages to the restaurant, as well as €1,000 to cover the complainant’s costs. –BBC News

The letter was passed around and signed by multiple authors, and the group now includes well-known names like Paul Auster, David Baldacci, Tracy Chevalier, Philip Pullman, Donna Tartt, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Mark Haddon, Sophie Hannah, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, and James Patterson. –The Digital Reader

Created by Brazil’s Penguin-Companhia publishing house, the bookmark is equipped with a light sensor, a timer and a miniature wifi-enabled computer. The light sensor detects when the book has been closed, and the timer keeps tabs on how long readers have neglected their novel. If they leave it for longer than a week, a tweet is sent from the writer’s account reminding them that they should start reading again. Each tweet is composed in the style of the author, or using relevant phrases from the book in question. –Springwise

He says he is not able to recall any details of his life including his name, age or where he is from.

“The last few weeks have been truly horrible. I go through so many different emotions. At times I am angry, frustrated, depressed, lost and confused. I just need to find out my name and I hope someone out there will recognise me and help,” he said. –The Guardian

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

19 Comments

  1. Melissa
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 04:41:33

    Big “hell no!” to the bookmark. Creepy and invasive.

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  2. Lisa J
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 05:05:21

    Things like this bookmark make me happy I never turn wifi on on my reader. Very creepy!

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  3. library addict
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 05:54:34

    A physical bookmark is something a person would have to not only buy, but input/connect their Twitter info. So this sounds more like a reminder service for people who want it. And the tweets aren’t actually sent by the author from the sound of it.

    When I first read the headline I thought it would be Amazon (or whichever company) releasing info to authors as to where persons x,y, and z are in a book and the actual author tweeting the reader if they felt they’d neglected their book too long or weren’t reading it fast enough. That was more scary to me as I was imagining how badly some authors could behave if given access to readers’ reading progress. It’s bad enough we are subjected to those “If you liked this book please rate it” notices at the end of digital books (a page I always remove in Calibre before sending books to my device). Can you just imagine if authors actually bugged you to finish a book you set aside? Yikes!

    The French blogger ruling boggles my mind.

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  4. Sirius
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 06:51:33

    The French blogger ruling – just want to echo how scary it is . Twittering bookmark – not on Twitter, but still annoyed.

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  5. Lostshadows
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 07:44:48

    Given the bookmark seems completely voluntary to use, it doesn’t bother me. Not sure well something like that would work for someone like me though. I tend to stick my bookmark somewhere ahead of where I’m at so I don’t lose it. (Not that I’d buy it.)

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  6. pooks
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 08:25:15

    I wonder if the bookmark also chirps to let you know where the hell you left your damned book this time.

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  7. Joanna
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 08:49:53

    @pooks: LOL My husband could use that one – in fact I’d buy it for him so I wouldn’t have to hear “honey have you seen the book I was reading?” again.

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  8. azteclady
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 09:32:55

    French court ruling: I don’t believe France has freedom of speech as part of the civil liberties protected by the constitution, so while it’s amazing (in a, what the eff? way), I view it more as a cautionary tale. It behooves us to know what laws apply to us.

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  9. Lynnd
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 09:37:19

    The French blogger judgment is scary. Hopefully some other bloggers would choose to support her in appealing the decision.

    As for the bookmark, while the physical bookmark is a voluntary thing, do publishers really want to tweet at readers about why they haven’t finished the book? I don’t think that it would be good marketing to have a reader respond with a tweet like: “I haven’t finished the book because it’s deadly boring and everything about it annoys me #wallbanger”. Given the reaction by some authors and publishers to what they perceive as “negative reviews”, can you imagine what would happen with something like this?

    I can also foresee some marketing “whiz” at a large company like Amazon or the publishers believing that this is a great idea.

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  10. azteclady
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 09:38:00

    @azteclady: And…

    A quick trip to Wikipedia disabused me of that notion–apparently there is some version of <e href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country#France"freedom of speech granted by the Declaration of Rights:

    The free communication of thoughts and of opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: any citizen thus may speak, write, print freely, save [if it is necessary] to respond to the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by the law.

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  11. Lynnd
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 09:50:19

    @azteclady: This is from France’s Diplomatic department regarding their policies on Freedom of Expression and Opinion:
    http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy-1/human-rights/freedom-of-expression/

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  12. MrsJoseph
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 10:02:57

    @Lynnd: So what does this mean? That France has Freedom of Expression BUT only when someone isn’t feeling butthurt?

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  13. azteclady
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 10:50:31

    @MrsJoseph: That was pretty much my take. The article linked states that the blogger is not inclined to fight the ruling, because it was apparently pretty horrid for her. I hope other people–lawyers–offer to help her go all the way to a win, as per the law.

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  14. MrsJoseph
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 12:02:35

    @azteclady: I agree. I really hope that someone helps her.

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  15. Susan
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 14:17:23

    I think crowdsourcing is overused, but perhaps that French blogger could use it to fund her appeal of that idiotic ruling. I’m not sure that she’d be successful given some of the past rulings on privacy/free speech that I’ve seen, but at least she’d be able to push the fight a bit further. (And, btw, who’d want to eat at a restaurant that did this sort of thing? If I were a prospective diner, I’d feel better about them if they’d concentrate their efforts on their menu and service rather than hunting down individual people who said negative things about them.)

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  16. Ducky
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 17:43:26

    I would never want to eat at that restaurant because of what they did to that blogger. Very scary and awful.

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  17. Wahoo Suze
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 18:27:14

    I’m guessing the restaurant owners have never heard of the Streisand Effect. I’m guessing they’re about to become intimately acquainted with it.

    What marketing genius thought that having bookmarks tweet at people would ever be a good thing? People don’t put down books they’re deeply enjoying, and leave them for a week. Sure, there is probably a small population of absent-minded readers who might appreciate the reminder, but the vast majority of readers? At least, the ones I’m acquainted with. Nope.

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  18. Loonigrrl
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 02:05:31

    That French blogger decision is crazy!! So the judge didn’t have a problem with the blogger criticizing the restaurant or the owner or the service in the article, but drew the line at stating the name of the restaurant in the title?? This makes no sense.

    And why in the heck are they awarding fees at this point before there has been a full hearing??

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  19. Laura Florand
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 08:31:42

    This type of decision by the judge doesn’t establish legal precedent. I am by no means a legal expert on either side of the Atlantic, but it’s kind of an emergency stopgap order type of thing. A judge can issue an immediate order to temporarily halt an activity seen to cause harm pending a full hearing. I’m not sure why monetary damages were also awarded here but as in some of the rulings that come through US courts, you can end up with some fairly random and arbitrary decisions in this type of case, particularly in small, local courts. (Although don’t get me started on some of the random and arbitrary decisions that have come down from our Supreme Court here.)

    She should appeal, as the judge clearly didn’t understand the technical issues of the case, but all legal cases are stressful, so I can understand why she would want to just drop it, as a private individual wanting to get back to a normal life. It doesn’t establish precedent, though, so should not be a broader worry in that sense.

    France does protect freedom of speech. (Although, as in Great Britain & Germany, important laws against “incitation à la haine” create limits that would not apply here as they are carefully worded to apply to questions of racism, etc., not one person criticizing another’s restaurant.)

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