Justice is often figured by Themis, the blindfolded Greek goddess, carrying a balance and a sword. The lawyer helps her to see through her blindfold, weighs in her balance and guides her sword.
Being creators ourselves, we commit ourselves with conviction alongside creators whose works are not respected, to guide this sword and protect their rights.
Intellectual and artistic creation is too often flouted.
We no longer count the quantities of photographs or graphic creations used by websites without the appropriate license.
As this is an intangible, virtual act, those who use these photos without the agreement of their author are not necessarily aware that they are committing a criminal offense. However, they are guilty of the offense of counterfeiting.
Article L 335-2 of the Intellectual Property Code sanctions this offense of 3 years of prison and a penalty of 300,000 euros (to be paid to the French State).
When the offense is committed by a corporation (company or association for example), prosecution can target both the corporation and the person responsible for the offense, for example the manager. The penalty incurred by the corporation is 5 times the amount provided, or 1.5 million euros (article 131-38 of the Criminal Code).
Once convicted, the fraudster has a police record.
Other additional sanctions are provided by law, such as forfeiture of profits, prohibition of access to the internet, etc.
Added to this are the damages owed to the author, and the participation to his attorney and court costs.
These sanctions are intended to be dissuasive. However, copyright is violated daily.
Our firm stands alongside the authors to assist them, obtain compensation for their damage, and have penalties for recalcitrant fraudsters.
Our method is simple and proven.
We start by verifying the copyright of our clients, and demonstrate this.
Then we check the fraudulent use of their creation and report it by Bailiff (Maître Maximilien TOUAT, Bailiff in Marseille), again so that evidence of the violation is irrefutable.
Finally, we then ask the fraudster to put an end to his actions and ask for compensation on behalf of our client.
If the fraudster accepts our friendly settlement proposal, he compensates the author and the procedure stops there.
But if the fraudster refuses our proposal, then we must take action. We are addressing a complaint to the Public Prosecutor, providing him with all the evidence available to us. An investigation may then be carried out by the police, or the file referred directly to the Tribunal.
It is unfortunate to have to come to such extremes. But this is sometimes necessary to make it clear that unlicensed use of another's creation is a crime, as is theft.