The French political party 'La France Insoumise' (LFI) and its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon have been ordered on appeal to pay 40,000 euros for infringing the copyright of street artist Combo, their lawyer announced. In particular, they must pay 15,000 for 'moral prejudice', 10,000 'in compensation for his financial prejudice' and 15,000 in legal costs.
The Paris Court of Appeal thus annuls the decision of the Paris Court of Justice, which in 2021 dismissed the street artist's claims.
At the centre of the dispute is 'La Marianne asiatique', a mural depicting Marianne, a French republican symbol, holding a tricolour flag with the slogan 'Liberté, Égalité, Humanité'. The mural was made by Combo in early 2017 on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, and in 2020 it was used by the French political party LFI in its campaign clips without the artist's permission.
The street artist claimed more than 900,000 euros before the Paris Court of Appeal for 'counterfeiting, infringement of his copyrights and moral prejudice'. Combo complained mainly about the political exploitation of his work and damage to his reputation, according to his lawyer.
Combo’s lawyer has commented on the recent decision, stating that 'Combo's victory is historic, as it is the first jurisprudence in France to protect a street art work under copyright law'.