According to AFP, french photographer Alain Ernoult has been awarded 1 million euros in a case involving Getty Images. The photographer, famous for his areal images, was a contributor to The Image Bank. He had signed an exclusive agreement with the company, covering the years 1991 to 1995. In 2001, he brought the company to trial, after Getty had purchased The Image Bank, for continuing to license his images. Apparently, some of his photographs were licensed by Getty for use in ads for car company Peugeot, Toshiba and Air France.
It is not the first time the french justice system awards huge settlements to photographers. A recent case also involved millions of Euros to the family of fame photojournalist Catherine Leroy for lost transparencies. In a period where it is becoming harder and harder to license images at a reasonable price, there is no doubt that more photographers will pursue any opportunity to sue their distributors and agency for any potential wrongdoing, especially in France.
The decision from the “Tribunal De Grande Instance” of Paris was just delivered its decision on the 9 of December 2008. It is customary for the French legal system to take a very long time.
Getty Images condamnée à payer un million d’euros à un photographe – Le Monde.fr