Ten short minutes of video, but a big budget. Éric Zemmour had not expected that his campaign clip – in which he announced his candidacy for the presidential election – would cost him so much. Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 on YouTube and broadcast live on continuous news channels, the video immediately sparked a controversy.
In question, the use without authorization of diffusion of several video extracts, whether they are television programs (France 2, France 3, France Culture …), films – A bout de souffle, Jeanne d ‘Arc, Les Miserables… – or personalities, such as Yann Barthès, Aymeric Caron or the Minister of Justice Éric Dupond-Moretti.
Rights holders who, in number, have filed a complaint. According to our information, several confidential agreements have been reached between the complainants and Eric Zemmour’s teams. Sums ranging from 15,000 euros to 30,000 euros have been paid, or are in the process of being paid, to several plaintiffs. Among them, the Bangumi company, which produces Quotidien, and Yann Barthès, its presenter. The agreement reached, confidential, should make it possible to close two procedures still open. One in the name of the company for “the use of images under the infringement of neighboring rights of the producer”, the other, before the 17th chamber, for infringement of the image rights of Yann Barthès, that we see in the film. The person concerned had also publicly expressed his desire to donate the money obtained to associations helping migrants.
Financial agreements that are added to previous payments. Thus Eric Zemmour, the Reconquest party! and one of his relatives, François Miramont, have already been sentenced on March 4 for “copyright infringement”, for a total of 70,000 euros. In the judgment, which we have been able to consult, we find among the plaintiffs the companies Gaumont and EuropaCorp, the directors Luc Besson and François Ozon, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD), or the beneficiaries of the director Henri Verneuil and the writer Jacques Prévert. At the time, the entourage of Eric Zemmour had announced to appeal this conviction. The polemicist finally withdrew, according to information from The Expressand settled the requested amounts in the spring.
For now, according to our calculations, the bill totals 115,000 euros for Eric Zemmour. A provisional amount, since “three or four procedures are still in progress”, according to master Laurence Dauxin-Nedelec, who represents the former journalist of the Figaro in that case. Eric Zemmour’s strategy is now to favor agreements, to avoid legal proceedings since the disappointment of March. Some plaintiffs have also dropped charges, such as writer and economist Jacques Attali.
Whatever happens, the sum will not be included in the campaign costs, and will therefore not be reimbursed by the State. “In essence, anything that is contentious is not eligible for the campaign account”, affirms to us, by SMS, the financial agent of the campaign, Gilbert Payet, who rightly recalls that “convictions, for any reason whatsoever whatever, cannot be considered as election expenses”. Enough to make this Youtube video – which is no longer available on the platform, as required by justice – a very expensive service.