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Microsoft confirms shift away from Nokia, new brand debuts in France

10/21, 3:56pm

Social media changes mark first official move away from Nokia banner to Microsoft Lumia

Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.

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Twitter-based money transfers reportedly launching in France this week

10/13, 8:35am

BPCE, Twitter preparing to launch money transfers via tweets

Twitter users in France will soon be able to send money to other users by tweeting, according to a report. Groupe BPCE, the second-largest bank in France based on customer numbers, will apparently start providing simple person-to-person transfers of funds within the country, with the sender able to pass funds along to other people without knowing any of the recipient's bank information.

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Colette event gives public behind-glass glimpse at Apple Watch

09/30, 10:49am

Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson among celebrities present

Today's Apple Watch event at Colette mostly involved units running on demo loop behind locked glass, visitors say. Members of the press are being allowed to wear the product, but even then, the hardware is still running on loop. Apple is also declining to provide any more information on specifications, pricing, or a launch date.

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Colette, Apple to hold Apple Watch event on September 30

09/29, 12:48pm

Could involve public hands-on

Apple and a Parisian fashion boutique, Colette, are planning a "one day only experience" on September 30, according to the latter's website. The event will run from 11AM to 7PM local time at Colette's storefront on Rue Saint-Honoré. Although neither company has said so explicitly, it appears to involve the Apple Watch, since Apple has adopted a fashion angle to marketing the product and the logo for the event resembles the Watch's homescreen.

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Apple claims to have created 630,000 European jobs

08/06, 10:56am

New stats may be attempt to sway local governments

Apple has posted a new promotional page, touting the company's alleged benefits to the European economy. It claims to have "created or supported" 629,000 jobs on the continent, with over 500,000 of those being linked to the "app economy." Of the over $20 billion it has paid out to developers, about $6.5 billion is said to have gone to European outfits. Among Apple's 280,500 registered developers, 52,000 are in Germany alone, and 30,000 are in France. The local iOS app economy is said to have about 20,000 open positions.

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Proposed French law may require Uber drivers to go home between fares

07/24, 3:02pm

Anti-Uber law proposal demands headquarter visits by drivers

French legislators are continuing to work against app-based driver services, by proposing a new law changing the way they operate. The proposal from the French Senate would require drivers for car-service companies to return to their headquarters, or in the case of a driver using Uber or a similar service, a parking garage or their home, between clients.

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Amazon charges penny on book orders to avoid French free delivery ban

07/11, 9:38pm

French free delivery book ban circumvented with extremely-low Amazon delivery cost

Amazon is countering a law in France banning free shipping, by charging customers a single euro cent ($0.01) for orders. The law, put in place by the French government in an attempt to protect smaller bookstores from being squeezed out of the marketplace by the online retailer, is being circumvented by the technicality, with French lawmakers seemingly unable to hamper Amazon's sales efforts.

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Apple announces slate of 2014 summer Apple Camps

06/17, 9:18am

Includes separate iMovie, iBooks workshops

Apple has opened registration for the 2014 edition of its annual Apple Camps. The program is aimed at teaching creative projects to kids aged 8 to 12 while simultaneously promoting Apple products. This year, two sets of three-day workshops are available: one is dedicated to creating a short film using iMovie and the iPad version of GarageBand, while the other involves producing an interactive book using iBooks Author and illustrations done on an iPad.

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Briefly: Codecademy's expansion, Vimeo's 'Copyright Match' system

05/23, 2:34am

Online code education platform announces new partnerships in five countries

Codecademy, an educational startup aiming to provide accessible learning of programming code, has announced expansion into five more markets -- the UK, France, Brazil, Estonia and Argentina. Agreements with educational and government groups have allowed Codecademy to be available on a localized level, with partnerships including work on customized programs, and non-English language content. Presently, Codecademy courses remain free.

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iPad Reuse & Recycling program extends to France, Germany

05/19, 1:02pm

Current-generation iPads still excluded

Apple has expanded its iPad Reuse & Recycling program to France and Germany, local reports say. When the initiative first launched on Earth Day -- April 22nd -- it was restricted to Canada and the US. Given Apple's history with the iPhone version of the program, the UK is likely next in expansion efforts.

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2013 Mac Pro shipping times drop to 1-2 weeks in Europe

05/15, 10:46am

US, other regions still at 2-3 weeks

Apple's official shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro have shrunk to one to two weeks in several European nations including the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, checks show. Other online storefronts -- including the US -- are still showing times in the two- to three-week range. If historical trends persist, times in the US should improve in short order.

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Briefly: Google Night Walk, Autocast Android add-on for Chromecast

04/04, 7:48pm

Google's new Night Walk offers immersive tour through Cours Julien neighbourhood in France

Google's Street View has been taken to a new level with its release of Google Night Walk, an audio-based tour through a French neighbourhood. Leading those accessing the tour though Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille, France, narrators Julie and Christophe lead users across the city, highlighting locations of note. A mini-map displays one's progress though the city, and certain hotspots initiate YouTube clips, Wikipedia segments and photo galleries, and more.

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Briefly: Samsung's LeBron Twitter issue, EE offers 4G in France

03/13, 6:22am

LeBron James reveals phone issue in Samsung Twitter mistake

Despite Samsung recently enjoying success with marketing on Twitter as part of the Oscars, the company has suffered a social media misstep. Brand ambassador and Basketball star LeBron James posted a message claiming his phone, a Galaxy Note, "just erased everything it had in it and rebooted," and though Apple Insider notes the tweet was subsequently deleted, it was not removed before a contingent of the star's near-12 million followers retweeted the message. The Twitter account has since claimed data has been restored on the device, but did not detail if there was any intervention by Samsung.

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iPhone Reuse and Recycle program expands into France

03/03, 10:24am

Canadian expansion still in the wings

The iPhone Reuse and Recycle program has been extended into France, Apple has confirmed. The program lets people trade in an older iPhone towards the purchase of a new one. It debuted in the US last year, and has since spread to the UK and (in modified form) India. French iPhone owners are promised "up to €215" ($296) for trade-ins.

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Two-step Apple ID verification reaches several new countries

02/20, 12:25pm

Supporting regions still under a dozen

Apple has brought its two-step verification process to several more countries, the company's support pages show. Until today, only the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand were supported. Now however the list also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

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Google appeals fine, search page notice in French privacy fight

02/07, 7:28am

CNIL fine, 48-hour warning to users contested in court

Google is returning to court in France, to contest a fine and notification over its unified privacy policy. The €150,000 ($204,000) fine from France's National Commission on Computing and Freedom (CNIL) is being appealed by the search company, with an order to place a prominent notice to warn users about the ruling on Google.fr also being fought.

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Moto X launches in Europe with higher price, no Moto Maker

01/14, 5:16am

European Moto X launches 6 months after United States version

Motorola has launched the Moto X in Europe, at its launch event in London today. The flagship Motorola smartphone, originally launched in the United States in August, makes its way across the Atlantic to join the Moto G, though unlike the American version, the European model will not offer any Moto Maker customization options, instead offering just the standard black and white-backed models.

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PayPal begins testing In-Context Checkout feature on websites

01/13, 2:52pm

Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands

Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.

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France fines Google $204,000 for breaking privacy laws

01/08, 3:08pm

Company will be forced to show web notice explaining decision

France's National Commission on Computing and Freedom has fined Google €150,000 -- or about $204,000 -- for violating local privacy laws, reports say. The fine is half the amount the Commission was considering in September, but Google will also have to display a notice on Google.fr for two days, explaining the government's ruling. France was upset with Google's blanket approach to privacy, and asked it to define retention periods and individual purposes for data collection, and get consent from the public before storing cookies.

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New French law forces 15-minute wait for Uber, SnapCar, LeCab cars

12/30, 3:24pm

French taxi driver anger forces change in transport law

Start-ups offering app-based driver services in France will have to wait for 15 minutes before picking up a customer from January onwards, according to a new bill by the French government. The bill, which affects Uber, LeCab, SnapCar, and other similar services, is an attempt by the government to appease taxi drivers in the country, those who stand to lose heavily from the start-ups.

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Google updates Android, iOS search apps with new voice languages

12/05, 4:32pm

Apps were previously English-only

Google has updated its Android and iOS Search apps with voice support for French, German, and Japanese. The upgrades let people both speak commands and hear responses in the new languages. Previously, non-English speakers had to type in any search requests.

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Apple's European online stores offering zero-percent financing promo

12/02, 9:39am

Most countries participating

Most of Apple's online storefronts for Europe have announced zero-percent financing deals, available today through January 10th. Some participating countries include the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The deals are only eligible on hardware purchases worth over €400, or £449, but let shoppers spread costs over time without incurring the interest Apple normally charges. Depending on the country, payments can be spread over 10 or 12 months.

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Apple raises French prices for iPhone 5s, 5c

10/17, 10:30am

Company may be shifting tax burden to shoppers

Apple has silently raised prices for the iPhone 5s and 5c in France, reports note. 16, 32, and 64GB versions of the 5s previously cost 699, 799, and 899. Now, however, they cost 709, 811, and 911, making even the cheapest 5s worth about $968. French iPhones are sold unlocked, but in the US, an unlocked 5s still starts at just $649.

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France promises to sanction Google over privacy policy

09/27, 1:43pm

Company fails to comply with demands

France's data-privacy watchdog, the CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des liberts), has moved forward with plans to sanction Google over the company's privacy policies. The agency in June ordered the company to implement a number of changes to comply with the French Data Protection Act, however the company reportedly failed to adjust its policies within a three-month deadline.

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French finance ministry investigates Apple deals with iPhone carriers

09/25, 10:49am

Probe believed to be separate from antitrust investigations

France's finance ministry is investigating contract terms between Apple and local carriers selling the iPhone, according to reports. The initiative is believed to be part of a broader look at contracts between carriers and phone makers. It's separate, however, from a European Commission investigation into Apple's contract dealings.

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AppleCare+ plans come to UK, France, Italy,

09/10, 3:32pm

Leaves North America for first time

As anticipated, Apple has brought AppleCare+ plans to Europe for the first time. Initially, however, the option is only being sold in the UK, France, and Italy. In the UK, the fee to replace an accidentally-damaged iPad under the two-year plan is 39; replacing an iPhone is 55. Defective units should be swapped out at no extra cost.

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European AppleCare+ expansion narrowed to six countries

08/30, 3:31pm

Apple partnering with AIG

Apple's rumored European expansion of AppleCare+ will initially reach just six countries, sources say. A launch is reportedly "imminent" in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK, although no exact dates are available. Apple is said to be partnering with AIG on the service; local AppleCare and Genius Bar workers started training for AppleCare+ earlier this week.

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New Apple Stores coming to France, China, Brazil, Turkey, elsewhere

08/28, 2:31pm

Apple makes heavy international push

Details have emerged on several new international Apple Stores. Aside from a new Tokyo location, Apple is reportedly working on another Parisian outlet, this time around Saint-Germain-des-Prs. It's not clear when Apple will move in, but the target building's current tenants are said to have staggered leave dates ranging from next month to the end of March 2014.

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Apple extends adapter takeback program to UK, other countries

08/12, 4:54pm

New countries to join August 16th

Apple is extending the number of eligible countries in its USB adapter takeback program. The program began in China August 9th, and is coming to the US on August 16th. Now also joining on the 16th will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK.

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French iOS App Store investigation concerned about platform lock-in

07/01, 3:53pm

Google, Amazon app stores also under scrutiny

The French government's investigation of the iOS App Store is part of a broader probe into customers' inability to easily switch platforms, a spokesperson says. Lautorit de la concurrence -- France's competition regulation agency -- is targeting not just the App Store, but also other storefronts like Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

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Reports reveal raid of Apple's French headquarters in retail dispute

07/01, 9:42am

Company unfairly favoring own stores over retail partners, complaints say

Apple's French headquarters was recently raided in the course of an antitrust investigation by the country's competition regulators, local reports say. Government authorities seized documents related to a complaint by Apple reseller eBizcuss, which went bankrupt last year. Following the bankruptcy, eBizcuss complained that Apple was engaging in unfair competition, making sure its own stores are well-stocked with new products while limiting what resellers have access to.

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Apple conforms warranty policies in Belgium, France, Germany

06/12, 2:53pm

Extends coverage to two-year period demanded by EU law

Apple has updated its default warranties in Belgium, France, and Germany to reflect European Union law, reports say. EU regulations require covering the sort of goods Apple sells for two years. Until now, though, Apple only marketed its warranties as covering one year in the above countries, drawing criticism from governments and consumer groups. The company was only giving two-year warranties to people paying for extended AppleCare packages.

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French agency bills Apple $6.5M in taxes for 2011 iPad sales

06/03, 12:49pm

France's SACEM agency is asking Apple to pay 5 million euros, or about $6.5 million, for taxes still owed on 2011 iPad sales, reports say. The tax is one common across Europe, collecting money off sales of digital devices that can access copyrighted material. The money is then distributed to artists such as authors and actors.

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France considering new 'culture tax' on technology products

05/13, 12:20pm

May heighten tensions over tax avoidance in EU countries

French President Francoise Hollande is considering a new tax on tech products, the money from which would fund cultural projects. The move, which would be decided this summer and has been described as "minimal and widely distributed," may increase tensions between tech companies and the government of France -- along with other EU countries, many of which have complained that firms such as Apple and Google are gaming the system in order to avoid paying taxes that would normally be due.

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Apple extends Maps Flyover coverage to Paris, outlying areas

05/09, 11:15am

Other regions might also have new 3D terrain

Apple has extended Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to Paris and several surrounding areas, reports say. Aside from Paris, other new detail regions include Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris, and L'Ha-les-Roses. Flyover renders scenery in a rough 3D state, clarifying maps and giving a better sense for what an environment will look like in person.

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France to ask EU to investigate Apple over AppGratis rejection

04/11, 5:55pm

French developer admitted to breaking Apple's guidelines

Calling Apple's decision to pull AppGratis out of the App Store for its violation of the rules "extremely brutal and unilateral," a junior minister for the digital economy in France has said she plans to ask the European Commission to investigate "Internet companies" for "repeated abusive behavior" and called for tighter regulation of digital platforms, search engines and social media. The thinly-veiled attack on Apple, Google and social services like Twitter and Facebook comes on the heels of Apple's pulling of the France-based iMediapp's program.

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France fines Apple 10K euros for demanding overnight work

03/13, 9:24am

Practice violates French law

Apple France must pay labor unions 10,000 ($13,000) in fines for regularly forcing retail employees to work after 9PM, a Parisian court has ruled. Agence France-Presse adds that for every subsequent violation, Apple will have to pay 50,000 euros ($65,000). Under French law, demanding work between 9PM and 6AM is reserved for exceptional cases, and requires special justification.

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iTunes in the Cloud video hits France, other countries [u]

02/27, 10:00am

Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands seeing access

(Updated with complete list of countries) Access to movies and TV shows via iTunes in the Cloud is rolling out across several more European countries, reports say. The one confirmed country is France, where the feature has been tested with both iTunes and the Apple TV. Various people on Twitter, however, are claiming that the option is now also available in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

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iPad mini now 'in stock' in many countries

02/19, 3:01pm

UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days

The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.

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Fujitsu to bring senior-aimed Raku Raku to Orange in France

02/19, 6:06am

Stylistic S01 includes simplified menus, call assists

Fujitsu and Orange have agreed to offer Fujitsu smartphones to customers in France, with initial handsets being targeted at senior users. The first offering will be the Stylistic S01, a mid-ranged 4-inch Android 4.0 smartphone based heavily on the Fujitsu Raku Raku, one that is focused on helping elderly users communicate.

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Google forges agreement with France, avoids 'per click' fee

02/01, 3:13pm

$82 million payment into fund mirrors Belgian settlement

Google has come to terms with the French government regarding the search engine's indexing of media in the country. Google has agreed today to pay 60 million euros ($82 million) into a fund to help French media expand and develop exposure on the Internet. Despite publishers in the country lobbying to the contrary, Google will not pay for posting links to French publishers' content.

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Google to compensate French Internet provider for traffic

01/20, 8:57pm

Orange France claims half data traffic from Google properties

French telecommunications provider Orange has imposed a deal on Google, forcing the search giant to pay for traffic sent through its data networks. The agreement, terms of which remain undisclosed, sees Google compensate the carrier for its sites taking up roughly 50 percent of all traffic on Orange's networks.

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Robbers steal $1.32M in goods from Paris Opera Apple Store

01/02, 4:24pm

Thieves assault store workers

Robbers stole an estimated $1.32 million in Apple products from the Paris Opera Apple Store on New Year's Eve, Dow Jones reports. A group of armed men in masks came in through the service entrance three hours after the store closed, at about 1700 GMT. At the time, only a cleaner and a single security guard were present. The robbers nevertheless assaulted them, inflicting slight injuries in one case.

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Samsung drops injunctions against Apple in five countries

12/18, 11:46am

Lawsuits still being pursued, Samsung says

Samsung has dropped patent injunction applications against Apple in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, a senior executive tells the Wall Street Journal. All of the injunctions were related to wireless communications. Samsung notes that despite the withdrawal of the applications -- which is said to have been voluntary -- lawsuits accusing Apple of patent infringement remain ongoing.

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Some iPad mini boxes claim iTunes 11 required for sync

11/01, 10:19am

Sync works despite delayed software

The iPad mini requires iTunes 11 to sync, some French boxes for the tablet are claiming. The oddity was spotted by iGen.fr, which yesterday noted that some people are getting their Minis delivered ahead of the official November 2nd launch. Significantly, though, accounts elsewhere suggest that boxes being delivered early in Germany list the current version of iTunes.

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Google may block French media sites over search payments law

10/19, 10:05am

Claims proposed law 'threatens its very existence'

Google has threatened to remove members of the French media from its news and search results if a proposed law goes ahead. Newspaper publishers in the country are pressing for search engines to pay for links to their content, which if adopted in France, is claimed to "threaten (Google's) very existence." Google has complained via a letter to various French ministerial offices against the move.

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Some French Apple Store workers to strike on Friday

09/20, 4:12pm

Protest coincides with iPhone 5 launch

A sizable number of French Apple Store workers have voted to go on strike Friday to support the demands of their union, the SUD, Reuters reports. The SUD represents about a quarter of Apple Store employees in the country, and is asking that they get water fountains, meal vouchers, and a thirteenth month of salary standard amongst French businesses. The head of the union, Thomas Bordage, has called on workers to demonstrate in front of the Opera Apple Store at 8AM tomorrow.

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Five new Apple Stores to open in advance of iPhone 5

09/18, 11:54am

California, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy getting new shops

Apple is preparing to open five new Apple Stores this week. The first is the Rio Shopping outlet, based in Valladolid, Spain. That shop will launch at 10AM local time on Thursday, likely in anticipation of the iPhone 5's debut on Friday. Three stores elsewhere will in fact launch at 8AM on Friday, an unusually early hour reserved for iPhone rollouts.

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Court fines first person under French three-strikes law

09/14, 10:38am

Fine over Rihanna track piracy despite possible innocence

A court in France has made its first conviction under the country's three-strikes anti-piracy law. Alain Prevost of Belfort, eastern France, was fined 150 euros ($200) for pirating two tracks by Rihanna over his Internet connection. The conviction took place, despite testimony claiming his estranged wife was responsible for the downloads.

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Google Play Books now available in France

07/18, 8:06pm

Deal follows resolution of publisher litigation

French customers of Google's Play Store will now be able to purchase books through the entertainment hub. The news was announced in a post on Google's European Public Policy Blog. French access to Google's book store comes following the resolution of a six-year legal saga involving suits from both French author and publisher guilds.

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