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Dairy pays Greek man for Turkish yoghurt pic

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 14 Jul 2010, 08:08

Published: 14 Jul 2010 08:08 GMT+02:00

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"I can confirm that we have reached a settlement and all parties are satisfied. The figure is under, but in the region of, two million kronor," said Tomas Axelsson at Lindahls to The Local on Wednesday.

77-year-old Karatzoglis, whose picture adorns the Turkish yoghurt product, had argued that the company did not have permission to use his image and originally sued for 50 million kronor ($6.9 million).

The dairy and the man have now reached agreement over the use of his image.

"We have always maintained that we had the rights to the image, but now we have settled the issue and plan to continue to use it on the product," Akelsson said.

Lindahls had obtained the image from a photo agency.

Minas Karatzoglis, who lives in Greece, was made aware of the use of his picture on the popular Swedish product when an acquaintance living in Stockholm recognized his bearded friend.

In his writ he underlined that he is not Turkish, he is Greek, and lives in Greece, and the use of his picture is thus misleading both for those who know him and for buyers of the product.

Story continues below…

Tomas Axelsson claimed that the firm has not benefited from the publicity regarding the use of the image.

"We have neither gained nor lost. We are happy that we have reached an agreement," he said.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 July 14, 2010 by Nemesis
It is about time they paid him.

Use of his picture for advertising without his express permission was a terrible thing to do.
11:15 July 14, 2010 by mikmak
Some background facts that were left out: the dairy bought the rights to the image from an image agency. The fuss seems to be about the fact that the nationalities of the product and the guy didn't match up. Anywho the dairy is countersuing the image agency for the settlement amount.
11:18 July 14, 2010 by Dazzler
He is now one of the rich elite in Greece!
12:12 July 14, 2010 by Keith #5083
It appears that Turkish yoghurt is even healthy for Greeks......!?!. Bet that'll take some swallowing in Greece :)
12:13 July 14, 2010 by The Local
Mikmak - thanks for pointing that out. We have now added that information to the story.

James Savage

Managing Editor
12:27 July 14, 2010 by Mb 65
His picture would not inspire me to buy the Yoghurt. Compensate him for what no one here knew who the hell he was anyway.
12:36 July 14, 2010 by Z-man
Suing about offense over mistaken nationality was his only option, and it was his right to do so.

As it stands with copywrite law, in Sweden at least, any photographer may take a picture of almost anyone (even unawares) in public (normal, uncontroversial public activity), and will automatically own the full distibution rights to the picture, as long as no name is attached to the picture itself (making it a picture of an anonymous person). The photographer may then sell or lease the use of the picture to agencies or directly to publications. It can even end up being resold and passed around, with rights transfered to other parties.

As such, the Greek man would have no claims/rights over his own image, but he could sue for damage to his reputation. It's quite understandable to me, as just about everywhere in the world, people hate being mistaken for being a citizen of a neighboring country--they tend to define themselves by how they are separate and different from their closest neighbors.
13:11 July 14, 2010 by mike_gr_13
Papou gera partous ta lefta
14:22 July 14, 2010 by glamelixir
The use of image is in all his right! dispite the image being bought from an image bank, it makes absolutly no difference for him.

I actually find the amount quite low considering the prices they pay worldwide to people being the face of a brand. It is not advertising, it is branding for those who expressed it wrong.

Branding links an image to a product and it is much more powerful for a brand than advertising as it can totally drop the sales if changed because people can fail to recognize the product.

And it definetly is not the point if he was or not famous or if he was or not rich from the beginning. We all have the rights to our image, period.
22:34 July 14, 2010 by bob3000
#9 "We all have the rights to our image, period." glamelixir

Only your opinion - not the law in Sweden.

It would be interesting to find out, if he originally had a deal with the Photo Agency for the pic. I'm sure the court papers will be worth a read.
00:46 July 15, 2010 by DAVID T
Well the Guy must have been more pissed about the fact that they used the picture for Turkish yoghurt - The Greeks really hate the Turks - look at Cyprus
01:22 July 15, 2010 by Authentica

Thank you for enlighting us, we are most obliged.
03:08 July 15, 2010 by Z-man
Oops, I meant "copyright" and not copywrite. Blame it on lack of sleep :-p
06:57 July 15, 2010 by Da Goat
He would have been better off asking for a crown for every tub sold

ie a cut of the profits!
07:03 July 15, 2010 by villjobba
12:13 July 14, 2010 by The Local

Mikmak - thanks for pointing that out. We have now added that information to the story.

James Savage

Managing Editor

I wonder if you had that version checked out first or you just added it as claimed without confirmation!
01:30 July 16, 2010 by Miss May
Papoo, you can now plug up some holes!!! This is what my Greek grandfather called paying off any bills he had! Cheers!
16:45 July 16, 2010 by glamelixir
@ bob3000

It really doesn't protect the right to you image?

Please, I would like to know more about that, would you mind telling me?.

It sounds so stone age for a country like Sweden to not protect people. I am in shock.

And it was not my opinion, it is law in almost any country.
17:15 July 16, 2010 by tadchem
There is a saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Similarly, "Spend a penny, save a pound." A waiver and release form, plus a few kronor up front could have saved the dairy a bundle.
21:12 July 16, 2010 by Norrlands Turk
First Germany, now Sweden. Its pretty obvious that Greeks are living on EU.
23:34 July 17, 2010 by know
Take my picture. it cost 10 kronor.
12:10 July 21, 2010 by banuazizi
Are you Greek looking with huge beard ?
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