Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Trevor Noah has pulled out at the last minute from hosting the MAMAs 2016, due to 'a severe upper respiratory infection'

Miriam Makeba copyright dispute

2014-03-23 16:27

Johannesburg - The estate of late singer Miriam Makeba is taking legal action against the organisers of landmark exhibition Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and ­Bureaucracy of Everyday Life.

The exhibition is at Joburg's Museum Africa on its fourth leg following successful runs in Munich, Milan and New York.

Graeme Gilfillan, a trustee of the ZM Makeba Trust, has written a letter of demand to the exhibition's organisers, the International Centre for Photography (ICP), accusing them of violating copyright law by commercially showing images bearing Makeba's likeness without the trust's written consent.

The challenge encompasses the ­numerous portrayals of Makeba in ­photographs on exhibition, but in particular the use of a photograph taken by veteran photographer Jürgen Schadeberg.

The picture showing a young Makeba in a tight orange dress standing at a microphone was taken in 1955 for Drum ­magazine.

In the letter, Gilfillan, an international copyright law specialist, claims that "Schadeberg's ownership of the photographs [the actual negatives] of Makeba is not in ­question".

His charge relates to the exploitation of Makeba's image contained in the photographs. This ­includes the enlarging, exhibiting or commercialising of these pictures.

Such photographs may only be used under "fair dealing".

The law defines fair dealing to ­include purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research.

Schadeberg told City Press that he "owns the copyright and is the author of all his images... Makeba posed for the image and gave her full permission for use in documentary non­-commercial material. In the case of the show, Schadeberg received no fee from the ICP for showing his images."

Gilfillan says he "had meetings with Schadeberg about this when Makeba was still alive".

"He knows our position."

Asked what outcome he was hoping for, Gilfillan said: "A lot of this is about the Makeba Trust being credited."

Read more on:    miriam makeba publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

We got to hang with the KFM crew at Shimmy Beach Club for the launch of their refreshed DJ line-up. Read More »

High-energy production that blends breathtaking acrobatics and street dance, Cirque Éloize iD is making its Cape Town debut. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.