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BCR used a photo of Arguedas for a 20 soles bill without asking the author for permission

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In July 2022, the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) put into circulation the new 20 soles bill that pays tribute to the writer, novelist, poet and ethnologist Jose Maria Arguedas.

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Two months later, the digital medium Sudaca published that the BCRP he did not ask for the rights of the photographer who captured the snapshot portrayed in the national currency.

Who is the author of the photo of the 20 soles bill?

The BCRP reports that the design of the new 20 soles note was made by the English company De La Rue International Limited. On the graphic side, the image used of José María Arguedas was taken by the artist Baldomero Pestana.

Excerpt from the photo that the BCR used without asking for permission. Photo: Baldomero Pestana

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But the constitutionally autonomous entity did not ask the photographer’s descendants for permission. The niece and legal representative of the family, Carmen Rico Coira, described -for the aforementioned media- the fact of “very great outrage”. She warned that they will denounce the BCRP for the violation of copyright.

“If the original photograph is placed next to the ticket, the similarities are obvious,” he mentioned for the report.

This wording superimposed the photo and the bill. The result was obvious: it may have been traced for design.

The new 20 soles bill was based on the snapshot of Arguedas taken by Baldomero Pestana. Photo: Baldomero Pestana/BCRP

Why is it a violation of copyright?

Jorge Cordova, an expert lawyer in copyright issues, pointed out to the media that this was a case in which the work printed on the coin could be a derivative of the photograph. “From what I see, even the original lights and shadows were taken into account for the design, so it’s not just an inspiration. Permission should have been asked, and since they didn’t, it’s copyright infringement,” he stressed.

The response of the Central Reserve Bank

The BCRP He acknowledged that he was inspired by Pestana’s snapshot, but reported that the organization considers the work “a completely different creation” due to the use of another artistic technique and other elements.

The defense argues the validity of the use by the exception in the Civil Code that it is not necessary to have authorization for the use of the image of a person with public notoriety.

However, as Córdova said for Sudaca, “this refers to the fact that it is not necessary to ask the Arguedas family for permission to put their image on the bill. But that does not exclude the fact that the photographer’s family should have been asked for permission to use his creation”.

Source: Larepublica

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