Reworld Media on Wednesday lost its lawsuits against the founders of the scientific magazine Epsiloon, alumni of Science and Life that the group accused of "unfair competition", "parasitism" and "defamation", according to judgments consulted by AFP. In total, Reworld Media claimed nearly one million euros from Mathilde Fontez and Hervé Poirier, editors-in-chief of Epsiloon, for "defamation", as well as from their publisher Unique Heritage Media (UHM) for "unfair competition and parasitism".
Regarding these last two reasons, the Nanterre judicial court rejected Reworld, owner of the monthly Science et Vie since 2019, "all of its claims", ordering it to compensate the other party for legal costs. Similarly, the Paris judicial court refuted the defamatory nature of remarks made in 2021 by the founders of Epsiloon on France Inter and Europe 1, attacked by Reworld.
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Defending 'sincere and reliable journalism'
This publisher (Grazia, Psychologies, Gamekult, Top Santé, Biba, Marie France...) with a sulphurous reputation has become known in recent years by its numerous acquisitions of magazines and sometimes controversial methods. The monthly Epsiloon was launched by a dozen journalists, most of whom left Science et Vie in March 2021 to preserve their editorial independence. In particular, they accused Reworld Media of having entrusted the management of the magazine's website to non-journalist content managers who accumulated errors, as well as a lack of staff.
So many elements denounced at the time in the media by Mathilde Fontez and Hervé Poirier. "I am relieved to move on," responded to AFP Hervé Poirier, happy to be able to devote his "energy" to a "nascent brand" after two years of legal proceedings. "We are happy that justice is letting us continue this path, which seems important to us in a democracy, to defend sincere and reliable journalism," he added. Asked by AFP, Reworld did not wish to react.
Still in search of "financial stability", Epsiloon claimed in May 35,000 subscribers and 15,000 sales on newsstands. The title recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign on Ulule to publish a mook (half-magazine, half-book) dedicated to the moon on July 5. For its part, Science et Vie sold nearly 139,000 copies each month on average in 2022, a figure down 15% from the previous year, according to the Alliance for Press and Media Figures.