Home Entertainment Court Rejects Takedown Request For Netflix Hit Thriller ‘Under Paris’

Court Rejects Takedown Request For Netflix Hit Thriller ‘Under Paris’


A Paris court has denied a request that Netflix‘s hit shark thriller Under Paris be taken off the platform for the duration of a legal case brought by a director who says the feature was developed without his knowledge from an original idea he registered in 2011.

The movie, about a massive shark that terrorizes the waters of the River Seine and waterlogged sections of its underground catacomb network, launched on Netflix on June 5, and per the streamer is its most watched French language feature ever, with in excess of 84.6M views to date.

French writer and director Vincent Dietschy is suing lead producers Edouard Duprey and Sébastien Auscher and top talent agent Laurent Grégoire for “parasitism”.

Dietschy’s lawyers Héloïse de Castelnau and Anissa Ben Amor made a legal request for Under Paris to be removed from the Netflix offering while the case makes its way through the courts.

Taking its cue from article 1240 of France’s Civil Code, parasitism is defined as one party following in the footsteps of another party’s efforts and know-how to benefit from their enterprise without seeking permission or making payment.

Dietschy suggests the producers and agent gained knowledge of the project when he started to circulate his idea and treatment within the French film industry around 2014 in a bid to find partners for the project.

Both producers have vehemently denied the accusations. They told Deadline in May that they had never heard of Dietschy’s project until being contacted by his lawyer last year, and they are countersuing the director for defamation and damages. Grégoire has not replied to Deadline’s request for comment.

The Paris judge ruled on Wednesday that the takedown request was “inadmissible” on the basis that the paperwork had named Netflix’s French arm, Netflix Services France, rather than its Netherlands-based parent Netflix International BV.

Court documents state that while Netflix Services France is a producer and distributor of the feature, it is not the operator, publisher or host of the Netflix platform, and therefore has no jurisdiction over what is distributed on the global streamer.

De Castelnau and Ben Amor publicly questioned the ruling, saying it was to the detriment of independent creatives and set a dangerous precedent for litigation cases unfolding in France but linked to French subsidiaries of big international groups.

“The Court decided that the summons should have been directed against the company Netflix International BV located in the Netherlands and not Netflix France, located in Paris,” they wrote in a press statement released on Thursday.

“This decision seems legally questionable to us. Subpoenaing a foreign company requires having the procedural documents translated into the language of the country where said company is located, in this case in Dutch.

“This process requires time and, above all, a lot of money… We question the message sent by this decision… Don’t auteurs, already fragile in the face of audiovisual producers and financiers, find themselves simply helpless in the face of the disproportionate power of a foreign platform.”

De Castelnau confirmed to Deadline on Thursday that the main parasitism case continues, with the next hearing expected in September.

Deadline has contacted Netflix for comment on this latest development in the case.

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