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Wednesday, 13 April 2005

KISS FOR SALE


Findlaw reports that Francoise Bornet, the woman in Robert Doisneau's famous photograph of spontaneous love in Paris, has decided to auction her original print 55 years after it was taken. Bornet says Doisneau (who died in 1994) sent her an original copy of the photograph days after it was taken in 1950. In the photo, the lovers kiss, oblivious to Paris traffic and passers-by.

This photo has an interesting legal history. In 1993 Bornet unsuccessfully sued Doisneau for U$18,500 and a percentage of sales of copies of the photo. Now Bornet seeks to reclaim her identity as well as financial gains by selling the 1950 black-and-white original print, which bears the photographer's stamp on the back. The photograph will be auctioned April 25 at the Artcurial Briest Pulain le Fur auction house in Paris and is expected to sell for between euro 15-20,000. The Rapho photo agency, Doisneau's employer when he took the picture, owns the rights to the photo. Bornet himself never received royalties from the reproduction and can only sell her photograph for private use.

Can Doisneau claim resale royalty rights? Click here and put your thinking cap on.
Other famous kisses here, here and here

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