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Royal couple obtain injunction

Written by Rehana Ali on 20 September 2012

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Kate Middleton has successfully obtained an injunction against the French magazine Closer preventing further publications of the topless photographs that have been recently circulating in the media. Closer was ordered to hand over all files bearing the images to the representatives of the royal couple and was fined £1,600 in court costs, which seems quite trivial considering 500,000 copies of the magazine were sold bearing the images. Closer further faces a fine of £80,000 if it sells the images to another publication. The magazines publisher is subject to a fine in the region of £8,000 for every day it refuses to hand over the pictures. The royal couple have stated they are delighted with the courts ruling that confirmed the couples privacy had been invaded.

The injunction unfortunately will not completely wipe out publication of the images in the media as the magazine Closer does not own the copyright in the pictures. Closer purchased the images from a freelance photographer based in France who is assumed to own the copyright in the pictures. The French authorities were unable to discover the name of the photographer therefore an injunction preventing the photographer from selling the images in France or anywhere else in the world cannot be put in place.

Since the publication of the photos by the French magazine, The Irish Daily Star newspaper, an Italian gossip magazine Chi and a Swedish celebrity magazine have all published the photos, the sister publication of the Swedish magazine in Denmark has also claimed it is planning to publish the photos later this week.

The royal couple have also filed a criminal complaint against Closer magazine under Frances privacy laws which could potentially result in a further fine of up to £36,000 and a prison sentence of up to a year for the magazines editor. Closer magazine were the first to publish the photos, the headquarters of which were raided by the French police in an attempt to discover information leading to the identity of the photographer that initially took the pictures. It is yet to be seen whether the royals will take legal action against the later publications of the pictures as the injunction against the French magazine has not seemed to deter others from printing the pictures.
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