Presidential: Eric Zemmour pinned for using images without authorization, his camp assumes

Ten minutes to formalize a candidacy for the presidential election. Ten minutes during which Eric Zemmour reads a text, in a decorum reminiscent of the appeal of June 18, 1940 from General de Gaulle. All interspersed with images of clashes in the country. But also other sequences, such as film extracts, such as “Joan of Arc” by Luc Besson, or “The Things of Life” by Claude Sautet. Just like excerpts from radio and television broadcasts, more or less recent.

Dozens of passages that some protagonists have discovered to their surprise this Tuesday at midday during the broadcast of the video of the polemicist. This is the case of the Parisian, whose logo appears from the first seconds of the clip. “We were not approached by Éric Zemmour’s team. And if that had been the case we would have refused. Our images are not intended to serve a political campaign ”, indicates the direction of the newspaper. Le Parisien has launched a claim to YouTube for copyright infringement, with the aim that “our content used without authorization is made inaccessible”.

Contacted, several media and journalists also confirm that they have not received any request from Éric Zemmour’s team to use these sequences in the campaign clip.

LCI and BFMTV interrupt the broadcast

“We were not asked for the use of these images,” said BFMTV in particular, which, after a first broadcast of Eric Zemmour’s video at midday, decided not to reprogram it for the moment, “not having the authorizations as a television channel for the diffusion of certain images. “A decision also taken by LCI, which cut the ad after a few minutes on the air, believing to have shown” most of this video “.

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The same goes for the various public service audiovisual companies, whose videos are particularly used in Eric Zemmour’s clip. “We were not aware, we assure in a joint statement the INA, Radio France and France Televisions. He will have to pay the rights of the images taken, like everyone else. “” But there is a blur around the use of images on social networks …, we admit in the corridors of one of the channels whose images were used in the video. Not sure there are any complaints in the end. “

The independent journalist Clément Lanot also claims not to have granted any authorization. “I’m studying the situation,” he tells us. CNews, former employer of the polemicist and some passages of which are repeated throughout these ten minutes, let us know that she “does not comment on (her) commercial practices”.

Gaumont reserves the right to take legal action

For its part, the Gaumont film company has indicated that it reserves the right to take action against the polemicist and presidential candidate. Because, in the event of a noted infringement, it would be a question of a violation of copyright, with a penalty of up to 300,000 euros in fine and three years’ imprisonment.

Moreover, the musician and performer Woodkid has already made it known that he will take legal action against the Generation Zemmour support group, which also used its music without permission in a propaganda video.

“We do things the right way”

Éric Zemmour’s team says that “everything has been settled and is being settled for the images added recently. We are doing things right. Ditto for music rights (an excerpt from Beethoven’s Symphony No.7). Package paid. “

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The entourage of the far-right candidate also refers to “fair use”. However, this principle resulting from American law, which establishes a fairly broad right of quotation, has no real equivalent in French law. While the French intellectual property code does provide an exception for short quotations, it only applies for informative, educational or scientific purposes. The exception therefore does not apply to a political campaign clip.

“This is a composite work”, so the Zemmour team should have obtained “the copyright of the incorporated works”, assures Basile Ader, lawyer specializing in media law. According to him, “two actions for infringement” are possible here: “the action of reparation for the damage suffered”, which allows to obtain damages, “and / or the urgent action before the judge of summary proceedings in view deletion ”of the video.

For Quentin Renaud, lawyer in intellectual property and copyright law, the use of images without the consent of the rights holders (authors, producers, distributors) poses a problem both financially and in the field. moral. “To use audiovisual images is to use content protected by copyright and that requires the payment of remuneration. One can also oppose the use of a work if it infringes its integrity. There, it is a sensitive case because it is about a clip for political purposes, emanating from a candidate who has extremely strong opinions. “

“Revolting and scandalous appropriation”

The faster the video is deleted, the smaller the hit will be. But “the damage is done”, believes Me Quentin Renaud: “The video has already aroused a lot of comments, has been seen thousands of times. In view of the media coverage, moral rights can be an aggravating factor. The beneficiaries of Barbara or Brassens may be unhappy that the artist’s memory is associated with the image of Zemmour. “

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And that’s the case. Contacted by Telerama, Bernard Serf, Barbara’s nephew, immediately expressed his anger, assuring that he had never been contacted by Eric Zemmour’s team. “I have just discovered with amazement that Barbara is used as surety in the clip of a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic whose name I refuse to mention. Is it necessary to specify that this appropriation as revolting as scandalous, when one knows the work and the humanist commitments of the artist, was made without the agreement of the family of the person concerned? »He writes to the weekly.

In the evening, the journalist Valérie Trierweiler, former companion of François Hollande, asked for “the immediate withdrawal” of her image in the clip of Eric Zemmour, “at the antipodes” of his convictions.

“My lawyer is studying what to do next. I am resolutely for universalist values, far from this call to hatred. “

Asked Tuesday evening about this controversy during the TF 1 newscast, Eric Zemmour simply replied: “The quarrels of jurists (…), I do not take care of that”.

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