France Télévisions sentenced for damaging the image of a farmer, who became a meme in spite of himself in 2015

France Télévisions was sentenced by the Dax court on Wednesday September 15 to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a Landes hunter for broadcasting images of him in his underwear and armed with a shovel in a 2015 report Jean-Marc Dutouya had become, in spite of himself, a celebrity of social networks because of this episode, extracts having been diverted thousands of times on the Internet.

“This judgment brings the law into conformity with morality by recognizing this intolerable attack on the right to the image” of Jean-Marc Dutouya, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) his lawyer, Frédéric Dutin. On November 9, 2015, half a dozen members of the Bird Protection League (LPO), including its president Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, entered a field in the village of Audon (Landes) to destroy several matoles ( small birds) to denounce the poaching of finches, a protected species.

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During this action, regular in the Landes at this time of year, activists and journalists were attacked by the owners, the Dutouya family. The altercation, between insults, threats, pushes and shovels, had lasted several minutes until the arrival of the gendarmes. Mr. Dutouya’s 80-year-old mother had been pushed around. Four journalists’ vehicles had flat tires. The images shot by France 3 had been broadcast and constituted, according to Jean-Marc Dutoya, a degradation of his image and an attack on his reputation.

“Justice said no”

In July 2018, Jean-Marc Dutouya was sentenced on appeal to a fine of 400 euros for violence with a weapon. In the meantime, his photo in his underwear and t-shirt, armed with a shovel, had been the subject of countless hijackings on the Internet.

“Can a man at home in his garden be handed over as pasture anyhow?” Justice said no “, welcomed Me Dutin, specifying that his client, who claimed 200,000 euros in damages, was “Extremely satisfied”. France Televisions, which had not reacted at first, will also have to pay 5,000 euros in procedural costs and blur the images of the hunter, according to the lawyer.

The World with AFP

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