France: Fines for late payments to photographers and photo agencies

In December 2016, CEPIC attracted the attention on the wrong doings of press publishers in France and the worrying late payment situation in this counrtry. Several picture agencies had signed an open letter, published by Libération, to protest against late payments:
 CEPIC Post 2016

In France, the law of modernization of the Economy of August 4, 2008 introduced strict deadlines for payment as well as penalties, administrative fines, and criminal sanctions.

The “Code of good professional practices between publishers, press agencies and photographers” signed in July 2014 precisely clarified these obligations.

Finally, on the occasion of the kick-off of the prestigious Visa photojournalism festival for the image in September 2016, the French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay committed to reduce state aid to the press if these deadlines were not respected. 

However, the situation persisted “with impunity”. 

The entire production chain of images, from the photographer to the publisher, already strained by cuts in fees …  threatens to disappear”  claimed the signatories of the letter.

The plurality of information, embodied by the diversity of sources, is today threatened by many closing down of photo agencies. Agencies and photographers are struggling day by day, and are questioning the likelyhood of continuing their business, largely because of delays in the payment by press publishers …

This common effort has been successful.

A number of newspapers and magazines have been fined. Their provisional and unfortunately growing list is the following.

Le nouvel Obs : 45 000€
L’Equipe : 35 000€
l’Express : 310 000€
Marie Claire : 20 000€

 The list of companies fined may be found HERE