13 December 2002

French photographers sue AFP

TWENTY-FIVE photographers are suing the press agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Corbis-Sygma for infringing their authors' rights. They are supported by the French visual arts and photographers' association Société des Auteurs des Arts Visuels et de l'Image Fixe (SAIF)

AFP has, they say, been abusing photographers' works in different media, including the internet. It has also given Corbis-Sygma - the picture agency owned by Bill Gates - the right to use their photos. According to the plaintiffs, Corbis-Sygma is reproducing and exploiting the photos in breach of their authors' rights as well as SAIF's collective rights.

In order to stop AFP and Cordis-Sygma from exploiting their photos, photographers are calling for an injunction claiming a 15,000 euro fine per day. They also request the appointment of an expert to determine the profit made by AFP. Photographers are ready to claim 10% of the total profit that AFP made on their photos.

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