After letting Guillermito’s case settle down in my mind (and on the web) for a few days, some final notes (to complete what I wrote in parts one and two).

First, I got to meet Veuve Tarquine, the charming and knowledgeable law blogger, at Paris Carnet. She explained to me that the problem with Tegam’s (the software company’s) lawyer wasn’t that he was bad (as I had written), but given that it wasn’t at all clear that Guillermito had done anything wrong at all and made an excellent impression to boot, depicting him in a very bad light, implying (or implicating) that his motives were less than honourable, and obfuscating the technical issues were a valid legal strategy for Tegam.

Second, Lunar’s curiosity is piqued by something that made me wonder, too, ever since I started reading Eolas. The law professions aren’t very male-dominated any longer, in practice. There are loads of female judges, trial lawyers and even prosecutors. I wrote “even” because I can’t help thinking of a state-sanctioned strict father model at play in the role of the prosecution in France. So the symbolic side is a different matter entirely. All right, addressing lawyers as “Maître” can’t be much helped (yet), since “Maîtresse” already has two meanings#[1]. But the general sluggishness about feminine forms of professional titles makes me wonder what would happen if someone said “Madame la juge” instead of “le juge”.

There’s also the surprising development (surprising for those unused to the jack-booted thugs of the propaganda wars) in the comment sections of the two lawyerly blogs that help the non-legal public understand the case and the trial (Veuve Tarquine and Eolas).

Who, I wonder, benefits from multi-posting, under various nicknames, positive comments on ViGuard, and from making Guillermito look like an irresponsible cracker and copyright infringer, in short, following the same discourse strategy Tegam’s lawyer used? This commenter takes the cake: first the accusation of being a snitch (corbeau, literally raven or crow) hurled at Veuve Tarquine, then (translation mine):

Photo of the painting of a Justice in Paris's courtroom number 10

Guillermito must be convicted because he has broken the Law, and the prosecutor was perfectly right in his closing statement. The commentaries directed at the prosecutor are apalling in a society that respects the Rule of the Law. It’s a disgrace!

[praise for ViGuard snipped]

I can’t stand geeks who fuck around.

[more praise]

Veuve Tarquine’s articles are offensive and dim-witted. It’s a disgrace!

(Il faut que Guillermito soit condamné, car il a transgressé la Loi et le procureur a parfaitement raison dans son réquisitoire. Les commentaires à l’encontre du proc sont consternants dans une société de droit. C’est une honte ! […] On a marre des informaticiens qui fouttent [sic] la merde ! […] Les articles de Veuve Tarquine sont insultants et débiles. C’est une honte !)

Er, oops? Dim-witted abuse indeed, but by whom?

It is precisely one of the under consideration whether Guillermito has broken the law at all. There has never been a case like this in France. And even if he has, it’s the prerogative of citizens in a democracy to disagree with the law and to work for its change. All our blog posts are minuscule grains of sand, infinitesimal additions to a body of documentation about the weaknesses of copyright law, as some of us see it. Just because Veuve Tarquine is a lawyer she’s still entitled to think for herself.

As for her finking on poor Tegam because she agrees with everyone including the prosecutor that their software isn’t very good, well, that’s ridiculous.

To finish, I found an image of the very painting of Justice I referred to in part 1, one Veuve Tarquine’s blog! And she has given me permission to use it here. Many thanks!

P.S.: ZDNet Australia has an article today. And so has The Register (thanks, Mookitty).

[1]: Apart from the obvious one, female elementary and kindergarten teachers are called “Maîtresse”.

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