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article imageJournalist shocked to see her image as memorial hologram

By Anne Sewell     Oct 31, 2014 in Odd News
Paris - Imagine walking past a funeral parlor, and seeing your image as a memorial hologram encased in plastic. The memorial had a fake name and dates of birth and death, "Brigitte Martin, 1959-2009,” while the lady in the photo is still very much alive.
Hélène Crié-Wiesner is a Franco-American journalist who moves between France and the United States. While walking in the 14th arrondissement in Paris with a friend recently, she happened to notice a display in a funeral home window. Encased in plastic was a 3D photo of herself (which can be viewed here), along with a fake name and dates of birth and death.
It turns out her friend had spotted the image a few weeks before. As she knew very well that 59-year-old Crié-Wiesner was alive, she assumed, wrongly, that permission had been given for the image to be used for advertising purposes.
Crié-Wiesner was shocked to see the image in the funeral parlor, because she had most definitely not given permission for its usage.
She told the French news site Rue89, "At the time, I wondered if I would not have preferred to see naked pictures of me circulating on the internet," adding, "At least I would have been alive. Here, my photo was taken from the web for a chilling use."
Crié-Wiesner, who has been living in Raleigh, NC for several years, said she's not superstitious about the whole thing, "just pissed off."
Crié-Wiesner said in her blog on the Rue 89 website (in French), "To be dead and buried in 2009, even under a false name, it's a shock."
She entered the shop to demand an explanation for the use of her image, but the woman working in the funeral parlor had no idea. She said that it was merely a demonstration piece, dropped off by the producer of the custom memorial holograms. While the employee agreed to remove it from the window, she said she could not hand it over to Crié-Wiesner, to whom she gave the contact number for the company who made the memorial, BLM Distribution.
After several calls to BLM Distribution, Crié-Wiesner finally received an explanation, although it was left as a message on her answering machine.
Francis Duval, director of the company, told her they were looking for a photo of a kind face on the Internet. They downloaded between 300-400 photos and then made their choice. He said they apparently didn't know whether the photo would be free to use and just assumed that it would be, adding. "We had no intention of hurting you.”
Duval then added that they had been using that image for over a year and that his company was in the process of going into bankruptcy, apparently trying to avoid being sued.
However, Crié-Wiesner did a little research and discovered that the company was most certainly not about to shut down and was, in fact, launching a new service which would offer custom-made websites for deceased relatives and friends. However, she said in a blog post that, while she would most probably have won the case if she sued the company, the legal costs would have been too high.
French sources:
Républicain Lorrain
20minutes
More about funeral parlor, memorial hologram, Photo, Copyright, Helene Crie Wiesner
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