Couvrez ce sein que je ne saurais voir
Par de pareils objets les âmes sont blessées …
A French court in Nanterrre has issued an injunction earlier today over Kate Middleton topless photos in the interim proceedings initiated by Mr Mounbatten-Windsor and his wife.
French tabloid Closer published last week photos of Kate Middleton appearing topless on the terrasse of a Chateau in Provence this summer. While the English press refused to publish the photos, Italian and Irish tabloids already have.
The Nanterre court ordered Closer to “hand over all digital forms of the pictures” to the plaintiffs and enjoined the defendant from assigning or forwarding them to any third party. Any breach of the injunction would be sanctioned by a Euro 10,000 civil penalty, payable to the plaintiffs. Finally, the plaintiffs were awarded a generous Euro 2,000 towards their legal costs.
By contrast, the Court ruled that it did not have the power to enjoin Closer from publishing the photos again, as there was no evidence that the tabloid intended to do so.
It is interesting to see that the consequence of the judgment is to create a distinction between photos published on the internet and photos published in the hard copy of the magazine. The international dimension of the case lies essentially in the potential for these photos to circulate on the internet, and to be assigned electronically to other tabloids. The mere publication in France is arguably much less of an issue.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether the fine distinction of the court will lead to the desired outcome, and whether the penalty will deter Closer from selling the pictures.