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French Court to Rule on Publication of Kate Middleton Topless Photos

The publication of the topless photos of Kate Middleton, Prince William’s wife, by a French magazine may have a quick resolution, as a French court is expected to issue a ruling in the case tomorrow.

While the French court won’t be able to go across the world and snatch the pictures from the eyesights of every who has already seen it, the court can order the magazine to stop printing more magazines and to issue a fine that would send a message to other publications faced with similar dilemmas in the future.

In addition to the French magazine Closer, the topless pictures of Kate, taken while she and William were vacationing at a private chateau in the south of France, were also published in the Italian gossip magazine Chi and the Irish Daily Star tabloid.

While the royal family’s spokesperson called the publications of the photos a “grotesque” invasion of the couple’s privacy, the royal couple’s lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, told the French court today that he is seeking $6,550 in damages from Closer, an injunction forcing the magazine to stop publishing the issue with the photos, a fine against Closer of $13,100 a day for each day the injunction is not respected, and another $131,000 if the photos are sold.

But a lawyer for the defense, Delphine Pando, told the court that the photos are not theirs to sell.

“We are not the owners of these photos,” she said. “The photos are out there. If a TV show wants to show an image of this (magazine) edition, it’s got nothing to do with us.”

That argument echoed the stance of the editor of Chi, the Italian magazine. Alfonso Signorini told The Associated Press over the weekend that he didn’t fear legal action since the photos are already in the public domain following Closer’s publication.

In addition to the injunction demand, the royal family is expected to file a criminal complaint against the unidentified photographer or photographers involved, but the photographers were not mentioned in today’s court action.

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