Fun_People Archive
22 Apr
The English translation of the banned book "Le Grand Secret"

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 96 14:59:36 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: The English translation of the banned book "Le Grand Secret"

You may wish to look at <>
which begins (text only, the many links are not shown here):

	"Le Grand Secret" Revealed

A sleazy doctor's get-rich-quick publishing scheme and the recent death of  
former French president-for-life Francois Mitterrand have sparked the latest  
Internet flamefest over censorship. No, the French aren't following the lead  
of their  dictatorial Bavarian neighbors  and yanking  
Instead, the Net is being used to circumvent a French court's censorship of a  
tell-all book written by the ex-prez's longtime personal physician. (Dr.  
Claude Gubler is a man with a true penchant for shameless self-promotion.)

This time, the French censors acted too slowly. By the time Court President  
Jacqueline Cochard got around to issuing the ban on January 17, the  
scandal-obsessed French public already had snatched up 40,000 copies of Le  
Grand Secret. One delighted reader, after devouring the intimate details of  
his former chief executive's terminal prostate cancer, decided to scan in the  
pages and use the accompanying publicity to hype his "cyber-cafi."

Too much publicity can be a bad thing. Forty thousand printed copies of the  
book weren't nearly enough to satisfy all the potential readers, and  
thousands of requests an hour are now slamming into M. Pascal Barbraud's  
flagging web server. His over-publicized web pages (mentioned by URL on   
CNN's web site , among others) have made it impossible for anyone to get to  
any pages on the server. The intrepid M. Barbraud may want to learn  how to  
throttle  his web server in the future.

January 26, 1996: M. Pascal Barbraud has been arrested. The day after the  
forbidden images appeared on his web site, the local gendarmes had paid him a  
visit. Two days later they took him into custody, for reasons they claim are  
unrelated to his attempt at book-publishing.

January 27, 1996:  Stephane Etienne , a PhD student at the  University of  
Glasgow , wrote a script to pound away at the "cybercafi" server until it  
released the images. It took eight hours. Afterwards he placed the  
freshly-liberated images on his web site.

January 28, 1996: An increasingly heated discussion continues on  
soc.culture.french. M. Gubler's publisher, Plon, indicates that he intends to  
sue M. Barbraud for putting Le Grand Secret on the Internet.

January 29, 1996: I've placed the  complete text  of M. Gubler's book on  
this web site in ASCII format. Part of the problem M. Barbraud's "cybercafi"  
web site had was that the original scanned images were 9 MB. The ASCII text  
is only 180 KB. You can read it here thanks to Sebastien Blondeel, who  
keystroked the entire book over the weekend.

January 30, 1996: Bob Bickford announced a  mirror  of most of this site.

January 31, 1996: Recent reports from France say that the Plon is not going  
to sue. On some cyber-law mailing lists, lawyers ask whether the owner of a  
copyright can sue under French law if the book is banned.

February 1, 1996: Netsurfer Digest  covers the spread of the book  on the  

February 20, 1996: Andrea Crain from Knox College, Illinois, USA,  
coordinates the translation of the book by over a dozen volunteers, editing  
the chapters for grammar, spelling, style and consistency.

March 1, 1996: I've placed an  international net-censorship roundup  online. 

March 15, 1996: Andrea reports that translation is nearing completion. Look  
for the English version of the text here soon.

March 16, 1996 A French Jewish Students Association  sues ISPs including  
CompuServe  for providing access to holocaust revisionist materials. The  
court will issue its decision in mid-April.

March 18, 1996 This web site is featured in a front-page article in  The New  
York Times .

March 19, 1996 The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette features this web site in a  
front-page Internet copyright story, as does the International  

April 4, 1996 Banned book on Goebbels  may be web-published.

April 7, 1996 The  English translation  of Le Grand Secret is available,  
thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of a group of volunteer  

 . . .

prev [=] prev © 1996 Peter Langston []