Cour de Cassation, First Civil Chamber, (pourvoi no. 03-13.622)Bull.civ. 2005.I. no. 348, p. 289
27 September 2005
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Professor B. S. Markesinis

Only persons figuring in a photograph can claim that it infringed their right to their image.

Article 1382 does not apply to harm allegedly suffered  by individuals as a result of another’s exercise of his freedom of expression.

But given that only persons actually figuring in a  photograph may claim damages for the invasion of their right to their image, the argument was insubstantial and the court of appeal was not bound to respond to it;

On the first ground of complaint:

In view of article 1382 Code civil:

Given that Article 1382 does not apply to complaints about the abusive exercise of another’s freedom of expression;

Given that the judgment holding the Figaro and Mme Chandernagor jointly and severally liable in damages to the Legraverends stated that even in the absence of any defamation or invasion of privacy the author of a fictional work and the person who disseminates it, in whatever form,  may be liable under article 1382 Code civil to compensate those who are harmed by their fault, that here the feelings of the Legraverends were seriously hurt by the fact that the author and publisher had made a story out of by the life and personality of Marie-France Legraverend in such a way that the reader could not distinguish truth from fiction and by their giving details about their daughter Camille which were especially hurtful in view of her gruesome demise, and that therefore they must pay compensation for the moral harm due to their imprudence in so doing;

Given that in so deciding the court of appeal was wrong to apply the text cited above and so violated it;

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