JURISPRUDENCE 2005 to 2012
LexInter | November 24, 2006 | 0 Comments

JURISPRUDENCE 2005 to 2012

THE COURT OF CASSATION, FIRST CIVIL CHAMBER, delivered the following judgment:

On the sole means:

Whereas since the 1980s, the town of Kerlouan (Finistère) and its port of Ménéham have been the scene of periodic acts of vandalism, attributed to an individual never identified and locally nicknamed “the fox”; whereas these events were the subject of reports in the local press, print and television; that a detective novel, entitled “The fox of the strikes”, whose author is Mr. Jean X …, was published by the company Sedim éditions du Palémon in November 2003; that there are staged in Brittany, in the fictitious village of “Kerlaouen” and in its port of “Meznam”, places, characters and facts whose similarity with the incidents actually occurred, the population and people suspected for a time was sought by the

that in this context and on various occasions, the book presents as a former prostitute a woman answering the name of Gabrielle Z …; that, claiming that many details relate it directly, without confusion or possible ambiguity for a reader informed of the affair, to this character, Mrs. Y …, resident of Kerlouan, summonsed the author and the editor to false and invasive allegations of privacy; that the Court of Appeal, welcoming the request, ordered the removal of the four passages comprising the imputations denounced;

Whereas Mr. Jean X … and the company Sedim éditions du Palémon criticize the judgment under appeal (Rennes, December 12, 2003) for having thus ruled, according to the appeal, that the narration of a purely fictitious event , intervening in the life of one of the imaginary characters of a work of fiction which, while being inspired by a real fact, has no vocation to pass for true, comes under the author’s freedom of creation and cannot constitute an invasion of the private life of the person who believes to be able to identify with the character; that such a narration could not possibly be sanctioned except by virtue of an abuse of the freedom of expression and creation on the exclusive basis of the provisions of the law of July 29, 1881; that in this case, Madame Y … only maintained that she had suffered an alleged invasion of her privacy insofar as she would be identifiable with the character of Gabrielle Z …, imagined by MX … in her book as a victim of rumors relating to her hypothetical past of prostitute; that by declaring, however, well-founded the action of Mrs. Y …, while nevertheless noting that these elements, integrated in a detective story, were “fictitious”, and therefore insusceptible to infringe the private life of this one , the Court of Appeal violated by false application article 9 of the Civil Code, together the law of July 29, 1881 and articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; maintained to have suffered an alleged violation of his private life only insofar as it would be identifiable with the character of Gabrielle Z …, imagined by Mr X … in his book victim of rumors relating to his hypothetical past of prostitute; that by declaring, however, well-founded the action of Mrs. Y …, while nevertheless noting that these elements, integrated in a detective story, were “fictitious”, and therefore insusceptible to infringe the private life of this one , the Court of Appeal violated by false application article 9 of the Civil Code, together the law of July 29, 1881 and articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; maintained to have suffered an alleged violation of his private life only insofar as it would be identifiable with the character of Gabrielle Z …, imagined by Mr X … in his book victim of rumors relating to his hypothetical past of prostitute; that by declaring, however, well-founded the action of Mrs. Y …, while nevertheless noting that these elements, integrated in a detective story, were “fictitious”, and therefore insusceptible to infringe the private life of this one , the Court of Appeal violated by false application article 9 of the Civil Code, together the law of July 29, 1881 and articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; in her book as a victim of rumors relating to her hypothetical past as a prostitute; that by declaring, however, well founded the action of Mrs. Y …, while noting however that these elements, integrated in a detective story, were “fictitious”, and therefore insusceptible to infringe the private life of this one , the Court of Appeal violated by false application article 9 of the Civil Code, together the law of July 29, 1881 and articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; in her book as a victim of rumors relating to her hypothetical past as a prostitute; that by declaring, however, well founded the action of Mrs. Y …, while noting however that these elements, integrated in a detective story, were “fictitious”, and therefore insusceptible to infringe the private life of this one , the Court of Appeal violated by false application article 9 of the Civil Code, together the law of July 29, 1881 and articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

But whereas abuses of freedom of expression which infringe on private life can be remedied on the basis of article 9 of the Civil Code; that after having sovereignly noted the amalgam to which necessarily led the various points of similarities, duly reported, between the character of the novel and the person concerned, the court of appeal held exactly that a work of fiction, supported by the occurrence on real facts, if it uses elements of the existence of others, cannot add to them others which, even if imaginary, violate the respect due to his private life; that the means is unfounded;

FOR THESE REASONS :

DISMISSES the appeals;

Condemns MX … and the company Sedim “Editions du Palemon” to the costs

Considering article 700 of the new Code of civil procedure, condemns Mr X … and the company Sedim “Editions du Palemon” to pay Mrs Y … the total sum of 1,500 euros;

Thus done and judged by the Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, and pronounced by the President in his public hearing on February 7th, two thousand and six.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image