Zemmour condemned for his campaign clip






© KEYSTONE / AP / FRANCOIS MORI


Far-right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour was convicted on Friday of “copyright infringement” after the unauthorized use of film footage in his candidacy announcement clip. He will call.

Eric Zemmour, his Reconquest party! and one of his relatives, François Miramont, are ordered to jointly pay a total of 70,000 euros to the plaintiffs. The entourage of Mr. Zemmour indicated that he would appeal this sentence.

Among the plaintiffs, the Gaumont and EuropaCorp companies, the directors Luc Besson and François Ozon, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) or the beneficiaries of the director Henri Verneuil and the writer and screenwriter Jacques Prévert.

They had assigned Mr. Zemmour and his movement in mid-January for “counterfeiting” and “infringement of moral and patrimonial rights”.

In question, the unauthorized use of extracts from the films “Jeanne d’Arc” by Luc Besson (1999), “A monkey in winter” by Henri Verneuil (1962), “In the house” by François Ozon (2012) , “The Quai des Mists” by Marcel Carné (1938) and the documentary “Louis Pasteur, portrait of a visionary” (2011) in the clip announcing Mr. Zemmour’s candidacy for the presidential election.

This ten-minute clip, broadcast live on various channels on November 30, has been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

“There can be no blank check to distribute excerpts of works on the Internet without authorisation, even in the context of an electoral campaign. Respect for copyright is in no way a questioning of the freedom of expression”, welcomed the SACD in reacting to the judgment.

“Propaganda”

In addition to the sums to be paid in compensation for the damage of “copyright infringement” and “attack on moral rights”, the Paris court ordered that the clip should no longer be broadcast with the extracts in question. This decision must be applied within 7 days, under penalty of a penalty of 1500 euros per day of delay thereafter.

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On January 27 during the hearing, where the far-right candidate was not present, his lawyer Me Olivier Pardo had castigated an attempt at “censorship” and defended the use of video extracts “in the context of a short quotation”, claiming the inadmissibility of the procedure.

“Gaumont and EuropaCorp do not play politics, they make popular cinema, and we have never granted permission to use excerpts from any party,” replied the lawyer for the production companies, Me Thierry Marembert.

“This decision is a snub for a candidate for the presidency of the Republic who believed himself authorized to use, divert and manipulate films, without even asking the slightest authorization from the authors, to serve his own propaganda”, commented the SACD Friday.

Gaumont demanded 25,000 euros in damages for the rights to the film “Un singe en hiver”, an additional 25,000 euros with EuropaCorp for “Jeanne d’Arc”, and the authors and beneficiaries 5,000 euros each for moral right.

In addition, several media, including Agence France-Presse, had strongly protested against the unauthorized use of their images among the 144 extracts used in the clip, without going as far as legal proceedings.

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