SOS Madeleine McCann 10/09/09
"The Truth About The Lie," to stay on the shelves.
The ruling by judge Amelia Puna Loupo that bans the sale of "Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie," will not have a direct impact on sales for the moment, in Portugal and anywhere else. This is because the order has not been completely formalised, as has been admitted by the lawyer representing the McCann family in this case.
Isabel Duarte noted that "the process has been secret until now to retain the utility of the decision obtained." In this case, the other parties have still to be heard - Gonçalo Amaral (author), Guerra y Paz (publisher) and Valentim de Carvalho (responsible for the screening of the TVI video)
As if that wasn't enough, there is also a 10 day delay to allow the three parties to oppose or 30 days to present before the Lisbon Court Of Appeal an appeal against the decision by the judge for the Third Civil Section of the 13th Lisbon Court. "As long as we have not received notification, we will continue to sell the book. When we have received notification, we'll see," a public relations officer for the publishing house Guerra y Paz, was quoted as saying by the press agency, Lusa.
The preventative order involves the publishers being banned from selling the books and videos, "that remain on their shelves or in shops and warehouses, and the requirement to collect (the copies) and hand them over to the authorised agent."
"The decision takes effect, despite the fact that it's not final, since the opposing parties, in keeping with, "the conflict principle," have the opportunity to express themselves," lawyer António Pinto Pereira explained to 24 Horas.
If Amaral and the publishers present arguments capable of convincing the judge that the decision carries serious and irreparable prejudice, "that would mean the results of the decision by the preventative order would be suspended."
Pereira Pinto would actually, "make a hybrid decision": not to produce any further editions of the book, but not to void the stocks or withdraw the books already on sale until there was a decision from the higher court.
If the higher court decides in their favour, Amaral and the publishers can go ahead with demands for compensation against the McCanns (for actual damage caused) and as individuals, against the judge Amelia Puna Loupo (for an illegal decision causing serious prejudice).
Elsewhere, it's business as usual.
"We have neither been notified nor informed of the decision of the Portuguese court, and we shall continue to sell the book," stated Isabelle Mazzaschi, representing the publisher Bourin distributor of, ""Maddie : L'enquête interdite," (the French title of Gonçalo Amaral's book) in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
In Paris, Brussels and Geneva, the French version of the book by the former PJ coordinator was available yesterday afternoon in all the main outlets in spite of the fact that the order by the Portuguese court had been all over the media.
"The sale of the book will continue until we have been notified by the French courts," Isabelle Mazzaschi confirmed for 24 Horas, adding that, "the Portuguese decision has no weight in France." And she is right.
According to Pinto Pereira, "outside our country, the order is totally ineffective, because the principles of territoriality and sovereignty of other states cannot be violated."
The publisher, TM Publishers, which distributes the book in the Netherlands and in the Flemish region of Belgium, has also told 24 Horas that Amaral's book will stay on the market.
Delighted with the publicity surrounding the court's decision, this publisher (TM) has decided to place the cover of the book - "Maddie, De waarheid achter de leugen" the Dutch title, on the home page of its web site: www.tmpublishers.nl
"The book has made it into the top 10 best sellers and has been well received by the public," the publisher's spokesperson acknowledged, stressing that, "that is not a logical or normal decision in a European country."
"The book has been on sale for some time in our country and without a legal order we are not going to change anything," he insists.
All foreign publishers of "Maddie : L’enquête interdite", contacted by 24 Horas, have refused to withdraw the book from the shelves without a local court order, at the same time as they admit that they will be contacting their lawyers and the Portuguese publisher to decide the book's future.
Among the best sellers.
According to the publisher Guerra & Paz, the book "A Verdade da Mentira," has sold in Portugal alone ( because there are editions in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark) close to 175 thousand copies (including copies sold through the daily newspaper, "Correio da Manhã"), a much higher number than other Portuguese authors, according to the sales figures for 2008. "A vida num Sopro" by José Rodrigues dos Santos, was the next best seller by a Portuguese author last year, with 115 thousand copies, followed by "A Viagem do Elefante" by José Saramago, with 100 thousand.
Amongst the top sellers is "Equador", by Miguel Sousa Tavares, which has sold close to 370 thousand copies. With a cover price of 13.30 Euros, Gonçalo Amaral's book has already taken 2.3 million Euros - the profits are divided between the publisher and the author, with the author receiving a lower percentage.
Duarte Levy & Joaquim Eduardo Oliveira
So, hold the champagne, Kate and Gerry! It's not over until the fat lady sings. Which reminds me: Auntie Phil has been very quiet for a while. Lost her voice?