French Court Detaches Itself From Reality, Demands Tabloid Turn Over 'Original' Topless Kate Middleton Photos
from the Google-Image-Search-ordered-to-destroy-all-negatives-in-its-possession dept
In what has to be the most purely symbolic decision handed down by a court since King Solomon's derailing of a vexing child custody battle, a French court has ordered the tabloid that originally published the topless photos of Kate Middleton to perform an act of contrition that is actually more pointless than prosecuting this case itself:
The French magazine Closer, which published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, must hand over the original pictures and pay a 10,000-euro ($13,000) fine each time the images are published again, a French court ruled.
The magazine, owned by the Berlusconi family’s Arnoldo Mondadori Editore Spa (MN), was sued after it printed a series of photos of the royal couple sunbathing on a private French estate. The tabloid was ordered to pay Kate 2,000 euros in expenses and an additional 10,000 euros each day it fails to turn over the original images.
Perhaps the judge (Judge Jean-Michel Hayat) spent the past few days enjoying some fine film noir, watching negatives go up in smoke in starkly lit ashtrays as the music rose and screen went soft focus momentarily as things, indeed, appeared to be working out for the troubled heroine. This explanation is as good as any for an order that completely ignores the reality of the situation. The picture is out there [indicates everywhere, but especially the internet] and no amount of fines or orders to produce the “originals” (on what? an SD card?) is putting those breasts back under proper British clothing.
It's not even a problem specific to the internet era. This wouldn't have flown 30 years ago when people had access to both newpapers and copiers. For that matter, this type of order has been outdated since the point photographs could be affixed to paper and distributed to readers/gawkers. You can't simply undo a mass distribution of “unapproved” photos. Not now. Not 30 years ago. Not 100 years ago. The photos are everywhere.
“Clearly, the harm has been done,” said Christopher Mesnooh, an American lawyer working in France for Field Fisher Waterhouse. “Thousands, now tens of thousands of copies, are now in public circulation. A legal decision is a wonderful thing to obtain and the royal couple did exactly what they should have done. But you know the magazine is out there and I suspect most of you have already seen copies of that magazine, so the basic, the initial harm, has been done.”
So, it all boils down to making sure the royal family is given some sort of… something for its “troubles.” There will likely be more of these utterly disconnected decisions as the royal family may also pursue legal action in Italy and Ireland, not to mention pursuing criminal charges against the photographer. But I suppose it's a misguided (and amusing) effort to be doing something, especially considering the relationship between the royal family and its paparazzi has been anything but pleasant.