Managers of the newspaper say the letter from the lawyers is dated 26 September 2019 and has a deadline of 10 October 2019.
Mpumalanga’s online newspaper 013NEWS is being sued an amount of R35 000 for using Sam Nzima’s June 1976 photo.
Adams & Adams is the law firm that has the copyrights to the image, and they want the money paid before 10 October 2019.
This is after the 013NEWS failed to obtain permission from the veteran photojournalist when using the iconic photo of Mbuyisa Makhubu carrying a dying 12-year-old Hector Peterson.
013NEWS used the photo in an article published in June 2017 commemorating the 16 June 1976 Soweto student uprising.
Our newspaper broke the Copyright Act of South Africa and in terms of this law, the late Nzima has the rights to get some royalties as a man who took the photo while police were clashing with anti-Apartheid students on the Wednesday morning of 16 June 1976 in Soweto.
Nzima’s instant fame occurred while he worked as a photographer for The World newspaper when the photo made headlines across the globe. He copyrighted the photograph with Adams and Adams after a long battle to get recognition as the man who took the photo.
He had joined the paper in the late 1960s. The photo shows an scene of Makhubu carrying the dying Hector after being shot by Apartheid cops. They were pupils in Soweto during the 1976 student uprising on 16 June where more than 20 000 pupils participated countrywide.
Owners at 013NEWS say they will contact Nzima’s lawyers and “try meet them half way in terms of the damage”.
The Copyright Act gives Nzima the royalties to his work – where anybody wants “to reproduce his work, publish it and make any adaptation of it as well as to authorise others to do so”.
“As a result of these rights, any person who reproduces our client’s work without his consent infringes his copyright,” reads the Adams & Adams letter to 013NEWS sent last week Thursday.
“Our client has the right to take action against any such person following the provisions of section 23 and 24 of the Act,” it said.
“Our client has become aware of your use of the Hector Petersen image on the website where you reproduced it without his consent,” the letter of demand reads.
“Our client has been asking for a flat rate of R35,000 for each reproduction of his photograph and is entitled to claim this amount from you as a reasonable royalty due in terms of Section 24 (1A) of the Copyright Act”.
013NEWS publisher Mpumelelo Mashifane said they will be speaking to Adams & Adams “concerning the damage”.
“We will be in contact with them to see if we cannot meet each other halfway,” said Mashifane Friday afternoon.
(edited by ZK)
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