In France PAJ (Photographers, Authors, Journalists) is the first trade union of photojournalists with 130 members among which figure some of the most influential names of the profession.
It was founded in 2011 with the declared ambition to use every legal means available to defend its members’ copyright as well as researching new technologies with a similar aim.
2014 was a turning point in PAJ’s existence because it was the first and only photographers’ trade union to sign a Code of good professional practices with the main French press publishers’ trade unions and the ministry of Culture. This Code has now become the code of reference among all other trade unions concerned with photography.
That same year PAJ won a trial it initiated against BBC and ARTE, joint producers of a documentary series which unduly used the photographs of a PAJ member who was granted 95000 € in indemnities by the court. In 2016 PAJ won another notorious case against Corbis.
PAJ was the first trade union to introduce IMATAG’s invisible and indelible watermarking technology to its members. They now retrieve substantial amounts of royalties from illegal reuses of their photographs on the internet thanks to IMATAG’s highly efficient tracking capacities and partnerships with legal entities worldwide.