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Weeing Frenchman sues Google over Street View photo

Peeing pic makes him a laughing stock in his village

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A Frenchman is suing Google over a Street View photo that shows him peeing in his garden, which has made him the laughing stock of his village.

As with most people in Street View pics, the man is slightly blurred, but because he comes from such a small place and he was at his own house, everyone recognised him.

"He discovered the existence of this photo after noticing that he had become an object of ridicule in his village," the man's lawyer, Jean-Noel Bouillaud, told AFP.

The image shows the man taking a whizz in the garden of his home in a little village in the Maine-et-Loire province. His lawyer argues that the pic shouldn't be on Street View because he was in his own property and had the gate closed.

He is suing Google in a court in Angers for infringement of privacy and use of his image without permission. He wants the photo taken off the site and, naturally, he wouldn't mind about €10,000 in damages as well.

Google's lawyer Christophe Bigot told local daily Ouest-France that (translated from French) the site only showed people's silhouettes.

"It would have been enough to make a claim on the site for a complete blurring of the picture," he added. "This gentleman is an awkward customer who hopes to make a quick buck."

Bigot is arguing that the summons to French court is invalid on the grounds that the site is published by Google US, not Google France.

The court is due to give its verdict on 15 March. ®

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