A French court has made an interesting decision in the case regarding the topless pictures of Kate Middleton, the woman who married Prince William, heir to the British throne in 2011.
Middleton and the Prince were sunbathing on private French estate when a pap managed to get the sensationalist shots of Kate topless and they were published in the French magazine Closer. As you can imagine, these images have already been bounced around the world twice and back again. However the court still seems to think that it can put some sort of cap on the situation.
The court ordered Closer, which is owned by the Berlusconi family’s Arnoldo Mondadori Editore Spa, to hand over the original pictures and pay a 10,000 euro ($13,000) fine every time the pictures are published again. They also have to pay Kate Middleton 2,000 euros in expenses and a further 10,000 euros for each day that they fail to turn over the original pap shots.
It is a largely symbolic decision, even Gandalf doesn’t have the power to make those pictures disappear as there is clearly no putting the cat back in the bag once it is out and it is most definitely out in this case. Not only is the cat out, it is out with bells on, flashing neon lights and its own marching band. Everyone has seen this cat! Also the money isn’t likely to make much of a difference to the royals, who already have more of it than they know what to do with!
When someone has that much money, it is hard to evaluate the cost of their damaged pride. Maybe the judge should have ordered Closer to buy Kate Middleton a time machine, so she could go back to that ill-fated day and put a bikini top on. Almost as preposterous a suggestion as believing that this current ruling is going to make the pictures go away!
As Techdirt point out, “It’s not even a problem specific to the internet era. This wouldn’t have flown 30 years ago when people had access to both newpapers and copiers. For that matter, this type of order has been outdated since the point photographs could be affixed to paper and distributed to readers/gawkers. You can’t simply undo a mass distribution of “unapproved” photos. Not now. Not 30 years ago. Not 100 years ago. The photos are everywhere.”
There is a part of me that feels sorry for Kate Middleton and the embarrassment that this has caused her and her family, but there is another part of me that has some sympathy for Closer magazine, who just did what pretty much any media outlet would have done had they been put in the same situation.