Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Controversial rapper cancels Bataclan concerts

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Brett Kavanaugh hearings: Trump challenges Supreme Court nominee's accuser

Read more

#THE 51%

One is not enough: China to encourage people to have more children

Read more

ENCORE!

A Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Trajectory': Richard Russo on writing small town America

Read more

#TECH 24

Hacking the body, and the mind: The future of connected humanity

Read more

REPORTERS

Colombia: Cursed by coca in Catatumbo

Read more

FOCUS

Britain’s Labour Party: No home for Jews?

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Outfoxed: The mystery of the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Backstage at the Moulin Rouge

Read more

Culture

Hergé heirs lose exclusive rights to ‘Tintin’ comics

© AFP | Comics author Georges Remi (also known as Hergé) reading his book “Tintin and the Lake of Sharks” on December 7, 1972

Video by FRANCE 2 , FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-06-09

A Dutch court has ruled that the heirs of “Tintin” creator Hergé do not have exclusive control over images from the famed comic book after a document from 1942 revealed that the author signed away the rights to his publisher.

The case has all the intrigue of an actual “Tintin” adventure. In 2012 Moulinsart SA, a Belgian company that manages Hergé’s work on behalf of his family, sued a small Dutch fan club for publishing images from the beloved comic book series in its fanzine.

Moulinsart claimed that the group, the Hergé Society, had broken the law by using the images without obtaining prior authorisation or paying for the rights.

But in an unexpected twist, a lawyer for the Hergé Society produced a document in court signed by Hergé (whose real name is Georges Remi) in 1942, giving the rights to “Tintin” to his publisher, Casterman.

The lawyer, Katelijn van Voorst, obtained the document from an expert on Hergé who wished to remain anonymous.

Neither Hergé’s family nor Moulinsart contested the new evidence, which judges at an appeals court in The Hague cited in their decision.

“It appears in a document from 1942…. that Moulinsart is not the one to decide who can use images taken from the book, and therefore does not have the copyright in this case,” said the ruling, which was seen by AFP Monday.

The judgment comes as a major blow to Moulinsart, which was long assumed to hold exclusive rights to “Tintin”, and is known for aggressively protecting and promoting Hergé’s work.

“The big question is to know whether [other ‘Tintin’ fan clubs] will have to continue to pay Moulinsart SA,” Stijn Verbeek, head of the Hergé Society, told AFP.

Voorst noted that the 1942 document “is very interesting for everyone, both abroad and in the Netherlands”.

The Friends of Hergé fan club in Belgium, however, said it was “too early” to tell how the ruling would change things.

Date created : 2015-06-09

  • BELGIUM

    ‘Tintin in the Congo’ not racist, Belgian court rules

    Read more

  • COMICS

    ‘Tintin’ 1932 cover breaks the million-euro mark at auction

    Read more

  • CULTURE

    Tintin breaks records with EUR2.5mn sale

    Read more

COMMENT(S)