Firstview found not guilty - the Fashion Spot
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Firstview found not guilty
Firstview Photographers Found Not Guilty in Paris Criminal Court (edited) - from the largest and best known fashion photo site on the web has been in a legal battle with the French fashion establishment for over two years. Jointly owned by photographers Don Ashby and Marcio Madeira, Firstview photographers shoot all of the top fashion shows from Paris, Milan, London, New York, and other fashion capitals for such clients as, Ralph Lauren, Prada as well as for the Three Firstview photographers were first arrested on March 13th 2003 after the Chanel show and charged with "counterfeit by distribution or representation of intellectual property in violation of copyright for acts committed from March 6-March 10 2003" in Paris at the fashion shows. According to the State of France's original complaint that led to subsequent arrest (and two days in jail) of photographers Don Ashby, Marcio Madeira and freelance photographer Olivier Claisse, the three had no authorization from designers to sell photographs from the fashion shows. According to French laws, all rights of such pictures belong to the designers, and not exclusively to the photographers as in the US laws.
Francoise Benhamou, the head of judicial affairs and intellectual property at the French Fashion Federation, said at the time that an "illicit traffic" of photographs for profit upset the federation and some of its largest members". Didier Grumbach, head of the federation, explained in an interview to French radio "Europe 1" that the problem was the selling of the pictures, not the journalistic process itself. "They (Firstview photographers) claim to be working for the Vogue site, and then they sell the pictures on their own pirate site" (, he said.
A similar complaint was filled two years earlier 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...The court found that the Firstview photographers shared with the designers intellectual property rights over the use of the said photographs and Firstview photographers (and all other photographers shooting the shows) had a right without prior authorization from the fashion houses to benefit by reselling images that are -- again -- the shared creative property of both the photographer and the designer.
The Court's decision is important in that it gives photographers in Paris for the first time equal rights with designers over the use of photographs taken at the shows. However, most photographers seeking official credentials and badges from Chambre Syndicale, the main governing body of French fashion, are still required to sign agreements that essentially take publication and resale rights out of the hands of the photographer. But Firstview photographers do not sign any agreements with Chambre Syndicale and they instead go directly to each fashion house for permission to shoot their show.
The case is on appeal...
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Last edited by model_mom; 24-08-2005 at 03:58 PM.
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Good call.

Thanks so much for posting this, model mom! I've been wondering about the outcome.

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Interesting. Lucky for us!! I guess now we can wonder about the outcome of the appeal Thanks MM

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That means it will be the end of fashion show free lance photographers because now Marcio can break the prices officialy and offer magazines package that no other photographer can ofer: paris, milan, ny, london, honk kong etc...backstage, runway, people for a ridiculous price...good luck runway photographers! Also, it means that the Federation will react with something like they already tryed before example: allow only photographer who sign a contract with them AND the designer. Bad, very bad.

Last edited by i82be34u; 07-10-2009 at 04:58 PM.
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