The Art Tribune pirated by the Ministry of Culture

26/9/10 – Internet – The story is rather amusing : the French Ministry of Culture, very active and extremely committed in its fight against internet piracy as proven by its defense of the Hadopi law, recently “borrowed” a photograph from La Tribune de l’Art and posted it on its website without ever asking our permission or even mentioning our name.

The article, dated 14 September 2010, which can be found “on the front page” of the “current events” pages, highlights the Maison de l’Histoire de France and its installation at the Archives Nationales. The published photo (ill. 1) is the one (ill. 2) we had taken on 10 September 2010, in the courtyard of the Hôtel Soubise which we had then posted right after. Although both pictures are taken from the same angle, the position of the clouds is definite proof of the original source. This is indeed our photograph, slightly cut off, bearing the name of the Ministry of Culture.

2. Hôtel de Soubise
Photo : Didier Rykner
Picture taken Friday 10th september 2010

Let us be very clear : we are perfectly willing to offer the rights to this photograph to the Ministry which may do whatever it wishes with it (as long as it names the correct author). We are in favor of the free use of images on the internet. This is not a problem.
This incident simply proves that the government, quick to defend royalties by passing a law which is impossible to apply and threatens freedom of the press, is not even capable of respecting it. This is not even an isolated case as Hadopi’s most ardent supporters are often the first to pirate internet content [1]. Should the Ministry be denied access to the web ?

Didier Rykner, dimanche 26 septembre 2010


Since the press office at the Ministry of Culture has now taken the time to call us and apologize for the mistake when posting the photograph of the Hôtel de Soubise on their site, we consider the “affair” closed and we gladly grant them the right to use this image as long as they state the correct source.
As we said earlier, we were not trying to prevent the reproduction of this image, on the contrary, especially since the Ministry of Culture and its affiliates provide us regularly with illustrations for our articles. All of the photographs on La Tribune de l’Art attributed to “Didier Rykner” may be used at will, on condition that we are informed and that our name is clearly identified (we reserve the right however to prevent its use on certain websites).
By highlighting this error, we intended above all, to underscore the absurdity of the Hadopi law as defended by the Ministry of Culture.


[1] Let us remenber the case of Frédéric Lefebvre (« Quand Frédéric Lefebvre pirate les médias », Le Monde, 17/12/09), that of the young members of the UMP (« La chanson du lipdub des jeunes de l’UMP était bien piratée », Rue 89, 15/12/09), of the Elysée Palace (« Quand l’Elysée pratique le piratage », Le Monde, 8/10/09) and even the Hadopi commission (« Loi Hadopi et police : une bourde très gênante », Le Point, 11/01/10).

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