Originality of photos according to a French court

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A Court in France ruled in a case regarding originality of copyright works. In the case at hand, a photographer took pictures of bathrooms and tried to sell them to a publisher. However, the negotiations failed. Nevertheless, the publisher published the photos and as a consequence, the photographer initiated a lawsuit. He lost the case because the court concluded that the aforementioned pictures are not original taking into consideration their topic. In the appeal, however, the court overruled this decision stating that originality of works of art doesn’t depend on the subject-matter but on the creative efforts put by the author in the process of their creation such as choosing photo’s lighting, framing, angle, highlighting of specific details, digital editing etc.

The publisher tried to vindicate its position claiming that he had the right to publish the photos based on the email correspondence with the photograph, but the Court dismissed this as insufficient, highlighting the need of a written and signed agreement for that purposes.

Source: JIPLP.

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