Facebook Ends 8-Year Legal Battle with French School Teacher Who Posted Dirty Artwork

First of all, did you know they have Facebook in France? They do and for the past eight years, Frederic Durand, a French school teacher, has been fighting to bring his account back online after he shared an image of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World)—a realistic, closely cropped depiction of a woman’s private area. Facebook said the image violated its terms of service and said “no more Facebook for you, Mr. Durand!” So now things get legal.

Durand had sued in a Paris civil court for the reactivation of his Facebook account and €20,000 ($22,550) in damages. Facebook tried to argue that under the terms of its user agreement, all litigation had to be tried in California court, but in 2015, a Parisian civil court found that France had jurisdiction in the matter—a ruling upheld on appeal—allowing the case to proceed to trial.

In March 2018, the court ruled that Facebook had been in the wrong to shut down Durand’s account. But the decision added that because the teacher was able to sign up for a new account, he was not entitled to damages. Durand had planned to appeal, but the parties instead agreed to a joint resolution in which they’ll each make a donation to the French street art association Le MUR (The Wall).

“This donation ends the legal battle between Mr. Durand and Facebook,” Stephane Cottineau, Durand’s lawyer, told Agence France Presse.

If only all legal disputes could be handled by a mutual donation to some charitable organization. But alas, most of them cause a lot of stress, pain and disruption to many businesses. Like art, disputes can be found everywhere. And when those nasty little buggers like landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, nuisance ADA suits and even collections affect YOU And YOUR business, call in a true artist at business litigation, Dean Sperling, who will work to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind! 

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