Stars Win Suit Over Unauthorized Photos

Six stars of the Korean Wave including Jeon Ji-hyun, a heroine in the hit movie "My Sassy Girl", and actor Jung Woo-sung, who appeared in the movie "The Restless," were paid compensation from a movie magazine that used their photographs without permission.

In March, seven top Korean stars including actor Zo In-sung and their agency filed a suit against Screen M&B, publisher of the monthly movie magazine Screen, demanding W50 million (US$1=W914) for each star for using the stars' photos commercially without permission.

From left, Jeon Ji-hyun, Jung Woo-sung and Zo In-sung From left, Jeon Ji-hyun, Jung Woo-sung and Zo In-sung

Seoul Central District Court ruled on Wednesday that the publisher must pay from W5 million to W15 million to each star for infringing their publicity rights. The court ordered the publisher to pay W15 million to Jeon Ji-hyun, Jung Woo-sung, Zo In-sung and Ji Jin-hee, W10 million to Cha Tae-hyun and W5 million to Yang Jin-woo.

The figures were based on the stars' average earnings from advertisements. The agency and stars filed the suit in June 2006 after Screen M&B sold their photos on the Internet and through mobile phone services in Japan. Publicity rights are the rights to use a celebrity's name and image for commercial purposes.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 15, 2007 09:54 KST