V ° Image Right
LexInter | April 18, 2003 | 0 Comments

V ° Image Right

Cassation
plaintiff (s) : M. Tenenbaum Cassation defendant (s): Universal Music company and others

Whereas Mr. Tenenbaum, known as Jean Ferrat, and the French phonographic company Barclay, to the rights of which came the Polygram company, then the Universal music company, signed three recording contracts, with assignment of rights, on November 1, 1963 , May 1, 1964 and December 9, 1966 ending respectively on April 30, 1964, October 30, 1968 and November 1, 1973; that the artist seized the industrial tribunal in order to obtain the termination of the contracts and the condemnation of the company to repair its moral damage suffered as a result of the reproduction, by the company Polygram, of its recordings in compilations comprising certain of his works and those of other singers;

On the first two branches of the single plea:

Having regard to article L. 212-2 of the Intellectual Property Code;

Whereas it follows from this text that the inalienability of the right to respect which it establishes, a principle of public order, precludes the artist from giving up to the assignee, in a prior and general manner, the exclusive assessment of the use, distribution, adaptation, withdrawal, addition and change that it decides to make;

Whereas in order to reject Mr. Jean Ferrat of his claim for compensation for the non-pecuniary damage suffered as a result of the reproduction of his recordings, by the company Polygram, in compilations, the contested judgment holds that by the contracts concluded between the parties, Mr. Jean Ferrat had granted a general authorization of exploitation which implied the possibility of dissociating the works gathered in the various albums, as well as of proceeding to compilations, in particular compilations comprising several performers;

That by ruling thus, the Court of Appeal violated the aforementioned text;

And on the third and fourth branches of the unique means:

Having regard to article 9 of the Civil Code;

Whereas to reject Mr. Jean Ferrat his claim for damages for the use by the company of a photograph of which he had not authorized the reproduction, the judgment holds that it should be noted that the the artist accepted in advance the publicity program deemed necessary by the production company and in which he would have the duty to cooperate, in particular by possibly taking part in photographic sessions; that the use of a photograph refused by Mr. Jean Ferrat or which did not correspond to the time of the recordings is disputed and emerges from no document;

That by so ruling, while it follows from its findings that the company had not requested and obtained from Mr. Jean Ferrat, as it was required to do, the authorization to include his photograph on the compilations of his recordings, the Court of Appeal violated the aforementioned text;

FOR THESE REASONS :

BREACH AND ANNUL, in all its provisions, the judgment rendered on May 26, 1999, between the parties, by the Paris Court of Appeal; returns, consequently, the cause and the parts in the state where they were before the aforementioned judgment and, to be done right, returns them before the court of appeal of Versailles;

Chairman: M. Sargos
Rapporteur: M. Le Roux-Cocheril, adviser
General counsel : M. Lyon-Caen
Lawyer (s): SCP Baraduc and Duhamel, Me Blondel

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