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Formula One boss Max Mosley is seeking a French ban on the video footage showing him engaging in unsavoury activities with five prostitutes.

The footage was published on so many websites that a UK judge ruled such a ban would have no practical difference because it had already been widely distributed. The film was briefly removed from the News of the World website before returning after the verdict last week.

The judge accepted that the material was intrusive and demeaning, but: "The dam has effectively burst... the granting of an order against this respondent at the present juncture would merely be a futile gesture."

Mosley's action in France is also on privacy grounds. He seeks to make the video footage inaccessible for internet users in France and for papers using the images to be seized, Reuters reports.

He denies any Nazi connotations to the S&M orgy and is fighting pressure to resign his Formula One post. The FIA is holding an extraordinary general meeting 3 June.

Mosley, the son of British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, is appealing the News of the World verdict. The two sides will be back in court in July. ®

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