Indeed. Vive la liberté d'expression! And let Adam Smith's invisible hand of the free market deliver some well-deserved jabs to those deserving pricks.
The doll's light-blue body, which comes with a set of 12 needles and a manual explaining how to put a curse on the president, also features some of Sarkozy's best-known quotes and gaffes: "Work more to earn more" reads one quote, a slogan from Sarkozy's presidential campaign. "Get lost, you poor jerk," reads another, a swipe Sarkozy took at a bystander at a farm fair who refused to shake his hand.
In keeping with the often meticulous nature of French officialdom, the ruling Friday was very specific. The distributor of the dolls, K&B Editions, was ordered to write the notice that will be distributed with the doll in black block-lettering and it must say exactly this: "It was ruled that the encouragement of the reader to poke the doll that comes with the needles in the kit, an activity whose subtext is physical harm, even if it is symbolic, constitutes an attack on the dignity of the person of Mr. Sarkozy."
Friday, November 28, 2008
Freedom of expression in France
It is always so informative to discover that other countries are also struggling with legal issues, with respect to what constitutes curtailment of freedom of expression and free speech.
In France, Nicolas Sarkozy petitioned the courts to halt the sale of a kit that includes an effigy of the Président de la République, pins and directions for casting a vaudoo hex. Though the judge awarded some damages as this merchandise exploits the unauthorized use of Sarkozy's image, the company may nonetheless continue to market and sell the kit.