A small victory in the ongoing battle between artists, their art, and social media’s inability to distinguish art from porn: A Paris court has ruled that “Facebook’s clause forcing all users to agree that any litigation must be based in California, where the site is based, was “abusive.” The ruling comes after a French man had his Facebook account blocked after he posted Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. If you are unfamiliar with the painting, here it is:
It’s not not graphic. It’s also a very famous work of art (and it’s just a vulva, people), regardless of whether Facebook has a problem with it. Of course the case is really about whether or not Facebook’s policy on handling litigation in California vs any other country has standing, not really about whether posting paintings of 19th century vulvae is ok or not, but I’ll take this baby step. I’m inclined to agree with the man’s lawyer that this case is the “first victory won by David against Goliath”, with the hope being that Facebook and other social media channels revise their policy against art and those who share it.