Thursday, March 13, 2003

More on the Arrest of the Style.com / Firstview.com Photographers in Paris

What strikes us a bit strange in this whole uproar over who is selling pictures is if you go on the British Vogue's site at vogue.co.uk they are also selling runway photos from the runway collections ( credited to Marcio Madeira ) for £75 each! We wonder if Francoise Benhamou is aware of that practice and did the French designers sign over rights to Conde Nast so they could resale the images? Perhaps there is something of a double standard when it comes to Conde Nast? We sent an e-mail asking him about it and will post the reply if we get one.

And here is a new update reported by SaltyT.com:

...The police claims acting upon a complaint by Chanel, Dior, Hermès, Jean-Paul Gaultier and all the LVMH houses, i.e. almost all the big participants in the Paris shows.

According to the complaint filled apparently before the shows, firstview has no authorization from designers and models to sell photographs from the shows. According to French laws, the rights of such pictures belong to the designers and to the models, and not exclusively to the photographers as in the US laws.

Francoise Benhamou, head of judicial affairs and intellectual property at the French Fashion Federation, described an "illicit traffic" of photographs for profit that upset the federation and some of its largest members". Didier Grumbach, head of the federation, explained this morning in an interview to French radio "Europe 1" that the problem was the selling of the pictures, not the journalistic process itself. "They claim to be working for the Vogue site, and then they sell the pictures on their own pirate site", he said.

This humble weblog has learned that a similar complaint was filled two years ago against the site, but after the judicial process, the US authorities refused to arrest the owners. French authorities therefore waited for their presence on the French soil.

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