Gaumont and EuropaCorp are seeking 25,000 euros in damages each from Eric Zemmour for the unauthorized use of images in his campaign clip, published on November 30.
Counterfeiting or freedom of expression? Summoned to justice by artists after the unauthorized use of images in his campaign clip, Eric Zemmour’s lawyer brandished this last argument on Thursday January 27 to defend his client before the Paris court.
In the absence of the far-right presidential candidate, his adviser Me Olivier Pardo castigated an attempt at “censorship”, and defended the use of video extracts “as part of a short quote”, demanding the inadmissibility of the procedure.
The Gaumont and EuropaCorp companies, the directors Luc Besson and François Ozon, or the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) had assigned Eric Zemmour and his Reconquest movement! for “counterfeiting” and “infringement of moral and economic rights”.
“Gaumont and EuropaCorp do not play politics”
For their lawyers, the use of these images does not come under an exception to copyright, especially since the candidate’s team has never “took the trouble to contact the rights holders”, nor even to mention them at the end of the video, leaving some doubt about their agreement. “Gaumont and EuropaCorp do not make politics, they make popular cinema, defended their lawyer Me Thierry Marembert, and we have never granted the authorization to use extracts to any party”.
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Campaign clip: Éric Zemmour sued for “copyright infringement”
“We would have refused everyone (…) but being associated with someone who has extreme ideas is an additional prejudice”, he acknowledged, referring to the criminal convictions of Eric Zemmour. A “political fiber” on which the candidate’s lawyer joked, pointing instead to the amount of the damage claimed by the plaintiffs.
Gaumont is asking for 25,000 euros in damages for the rights to the film “Un singe en hiver” by Henri Verneuil, an additional 25,000 euros with EuropaCorp for “Jeanne d’Arc” by Luc Besson, and the authors 5,000 euros each for the title of moral right. The case was adjourned to March 4.