Corby Family Seeking $300,000 in Damages

SYDNEY

Schapelle Corby’s family are seeking $300,000 in damages from a book publisher that used their photographs without permission, a Sydney court has heard.

The Corby family is suing Allen & Unwin over a 2011 book titled Sins of the Father by journalist Eamonn Duff.

They claim five photos, including shots of Corby with friends at Brisbane airport and as a child on Santa’s knee, were family pictures published without permission.

Schapelle’s sister Mercedes Corby, her brother Michael Corby Junior and their mother Rosleigh Rose are seeking damages of about $300,000 for the breach, their lawyer Sue Chrysanthou said in her closing submissions at the Federal Court.

“(Allen & Unwin) is an applicant of substantial means, who ignored my clients’ request for a reprint, who put the onus on a first-time author to get copyright … it knew there was no clearance, it knew it was infringing copyright, and then came to court and defended the proceedings on the basis that it wasn’t,” Ms Chrysanthou said.

The Corbys have said they wouldn’t have sold the photos for use in Mr Duff’s book at any price.

But Allen & Unwin’s lawyer Sophie Goddard SC said there had always been intense public interest in Ms Corby’s “notorious” story.

“Understandably (the book) tells a story the applicants don’t like, and I don’t blame them for not liking it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been written,” she said.

Allen & Unwin’s editorial director Rebecca Kaiser said the publisher didn’t know who had copyright over the photos and didn’t try to find out other than by a verbal confirmation with Mr Duff.

Neither Mr Duff nor the publisher ever paid anyone for use of the photographs, Ms Kaiser said.

Ms Chrysanthou said Allen & Unwin could have called the Corby family to ask permission.

“We could have called them, but I don’t think they would have answered,” replied Ms Kaiser.

Ms Chrysanthou replied: “That’s right – you knew they wouldn’t be happy to hear you were going to use them in this book and that’s why you didn’t call them.”

Allen & Unwin says the pictures were given either to Mr Duff or to “the media in general” fo r publication.

Schapelle Corby was jailed for smuggling marijuana into Indonesia in 2004.

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