French court says it cannot ban Mosley orgy video
PARIS (Reuters) - A French court said on Tuesday it had no power to ban a British newspaper from posting on its Web site a video showing world motorsport chief Max Mosley in what the paper described as a Nazi-style orgy with prostitutes.
Mosley had filed legal action in France, which has stricter privacy laws than Britain, to try and prevent the video from being shown on the Internet in France. This would have forced the News of the World to pull the video from its site.
The Sunday tabloid published a front-page story last month with photographs it said showed Mosley in a sado-masochistic orgy with prostitutes dressed as concentration camp prisoners.
Mosley, head of the International Automobile Federation, has denied any Nazi connotation. He has resisted calls to resign as head of the FIA.
Though it said it could not block the Web site, the Paris court ruled that the photographs the News of the World had published in its paper version were a violation of French privacy laws and that the newspaper had to withdraw any copies available in France.
"The photographs concern an intimate matter, the sex life of consenting adults, which is not normally supposed to be revealed to others without the consent of the people involved," the court said.
The ruling makes little practical difference to Mosley as the edition of the News of the World that carried the photos sold millions of copies last month, mostly in Britain. The newspaper is not widely distributed in France.
On the question of the video, the judge said that only a British court was competent to ban the News of the World from posting material on its site.
Mosley had turned to the French legal system after a British court had refused to issue an order blocking it.
Mosley's father Oswald was the founder of the pre-World War Two British Union of Fascists.
(Reporting by Thierry Leveque, writing by Estelle Shirbon)
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