Celebrities and media firms, including AFP, are among those protesting the use of their images by far-right pundit Eric Zemmour in the short film that announced his run for the presidency.

Zemmour, a 63-year-old writer and TV pundit who declared his candidacy on Tuesday via a YouTube video, is the most stridently anti-Islam and anti-migrant of the challengers seeking to unseat President Emmanuel Macron in April 2022.

Director Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") was among those reacting angrily after a clip from his 1999 film "Joan of Arc" starring Milla Jovovich appeared in Zemmour's 10-minute video.

Besson told AFP that the images were used "in a fraudulent manner" and that he "shares none of Eric Zemmour's ideas."

AFP was one of many media companies to criticise the use of its content in Zemmour's video, which included news footage of Muslims praying in the street, as well as street violence and the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

"We were surprised to find that in the video posted on YouTube by Eric Zemmour's campaign team... images belonging to AFP were reproduced and included in the clip without our authorisation and without permission," said AFP's Global Editor Phil Chetwynd.

AFP called on Zemmour's team to "immediately cease the use of these images", adding that the agency reserves the right to pursue legal action over the infringement.

Movie production house Gaumont also took a strong stance, saying they had received no requests from Zemmour's team to use clips from "Joan of Arc" or 1960s classic "A Monkey in Winter" starring Jean-Luc Belmondo, to which it owns the rights.

Both were used by Zemmour as part of his warnings that the traditional France "of Joan of Arc and Louis XIV" and "of Notre Dame and village churches" is disappearing under the weight of migration and foreign cultures.

Gaumont said it "would study all the options open to us" against Zemmour.

- 'Opposed on principle' -

Rolling news channel France 24 said it was "opposed on principle to the use of its images and its logo in all political campaigns" and would demand their immediate removal.

France Televisions, the National Audiovisual Institute and Radio France put out a joint statement saying Zemmour must respect the copyright of images "just like everyone else".

In response, Zemmour's team told AFP that they had respected the right to use "short quotes" freely.

However, a lawyer for SCAM, which oversees copyright law in France, told AFP that this was incorrect: brief extracts can be used only for reviews, opinion pieces, and scientific or informational articles -- not for promotional content.

The original authors can also take action if they feel their work has been distorted in its use -- a charge which several writers and historians have laid against Zemmour.

Zemmour's clip also happened to use a shot owned by Macron's party, Republic on the Move, and said it would sue to have its logo removed.

YouTube France told AFP it did not normally comment on individual cases.

The site has an automatic procedure for removing content that breaches copyright rules.

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