“Yemen Times” to Sue AFP [Archives:2001/23/Front Page]

June 4 2001

Yemen Times is currently preparing to file a lawsuit against Agence France-Press (AFP) for illegally redistributing an exclusive picture of Yemen Times. The picture of Carl Christian Hoerencke was published on the front page of issue no. 22 on Monday 28 March 2001 which was, a few days later, redistributed by AFP. Realizing that AFP had credited the photo to itself without the prior approval of Yemen Times, the Editor-in-Chief sent a letter to AFP Gulf Bureau in Dubai demanding an explanation. A letter of apology then was sent to Yemen Times from AFP Gulf Bureau (shown) explaining that the photo was downloaded from Yemen Times website without prior consent, which is a clear violation of copyright laws all over the world. 
Yemen Times then sent another letter to AFP Gulf Bureau and demanded compensation for the damage caused to the newspaper because of this violation, but has not received a response. 
In the last letter, the Editor said, “The damage that has already been inflicted cannot be repaired with a short apology letter. I have read your letter to the editorial board, but it was not enough for the board to revert the decision of a lawsuit. The staff and journalists who worked days and nights for an exclusive story and photo simply did not accept it.” 
According to Mr. Mohamed Naji Allaw, a prominent lawyer with extensive experience in international law, the violation is clear and was admitted by AFP. “The least that AFP should do is compensate Yemen Times for the damage caused by this illegal action, otherwise a lawsuit will surely be in the favor of the newspaper.”Updates regarding the case will be published in future issues.