« An attempt at censorship »: pass of arms between LaREM and a publisher to recover enmarche2022.fr

Four months before the presidential election, La République en Marche wishes to become the owner of the domain name Enmarche2022.fr. To the chagrin of the publishing house specializing in comics that owns it.

A pass in due form. While the Republic on the move would like to be able to use the domain name enmarche2022.fr, the publishing house which owns it and which has published satirical works on Emmanuel Macron, denounces « an attempt at censorship ». At the origin of the tensions between these two entities, the approach of the presidential election.

“We are currently doing a tour of the ecosystem of site names and therefore we came across the ANT Éditions site,” explains La République en Marche.

A site that publishes satirical comics on the Macron five-year term

The domain name enmarche2022.fr has been used for three years by this publishing house specializing in comics. It refers to the comic in five volumes entitled « Vivre en macronie » by designer Allan Barte. Intended for humor, these works « deliver a critical and humorous look on this vast political scene », explains the site of the literary enterprise.

For LaRem’s legal department, the stakes are high. No question in fact that an Internet user who types « LaREM 2022 » could come across a fanciful site. Enmarche2027.fr for example refers to the information site Mediapart. Each time an Internet user goes there, he is directed to a random article on the news site, but always on the subject of the five-year term.

While this site had been under the radar of the macronia since its creation in 2019, the political body now wants to recover this domain name and goes through Afnic (French Association for Internet Naming in Cooperation). This register of internet names in France, which acts as the intermediary in the event of a dispute over a domain name between its user and the person or company who wishes to recover it, then transmits the attorney’s letter that it has received. at ANT Éditions.

« Nuisance will » for LaRem’s lawyer

To the publisher’s total surprise, assures the literary enterprise.

« A simple phone call from them would have been enough to get it back to them. But they preferred to send this big file directly, and to be honest, the content was a problem for us, » said Anthony Roux, editor of Allan Barte, interviewed by Webrema.com.

Selected pieces from this letter written by LaREM’s legal counsel:

« The sole purpose » of « this book distribution activity is to damage the reputation of LaREM and of Mr. Emmanuel Macron. (…) Its sole purpose is to damage the reputation » of the presidential majority (…) This desire for nuisance is all the more manifest (…) as there are caricature images « of Emmanuel Macron.

The tone of the letter from the legal advisor displeases the publishing house, which then decides to crack an open letter that can be read online at … enmarche2022.fr.

Caricature review

« The lines (addressed by the party’s lawyer) were shocking because these remarks suggest that the concern does not come from the domain name itself but from the caricature and the parody », explains ANT Éditions.

« The file did not relate only to the domain name, but also to the cartoons. They consider that they » undermine the candidate: this is not the subject of the conflict here. For me, it is the right to caricature and parody that is engaged. We expect something else from a presidential party, « regrets Anthony Roux, the founder of the publishing house, from Webrema.com.

Since this open letter, there is radio silence on the part of LaREM at the requests of the publishing house. « I have tried to contact several members of the majority since, but without success, » regrets the boss of ANT Éditions.

And the editor to mention the visit of Emmanuel Macron to the Angoulême international comics festival in January 2020. The president had posed all smiles alongside the designer Jul who had just offered him a t-shirt on which we see a blinded cat and an inscription « LBD 2020 ».

Decision in a month

The artist then wanted to denounce the mutilations to which yellow vests were victims because of the defense bullet launchers used by the police.

On the side of LaREM, one specifies « not to be at all in a war with this publishing house ». « We have no will of censorship at any time, » said the party.

AFNIC, which did not wish to comment on the matter to our antenna, should render its decision by the end of January.

By Marie-Pierre Bourgeois and Victoria Beurnez

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