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Glazer's Camera

Corbis Under Fire for Loss of Images


Photographers Arthur Grace and Chris Usher have both won settlements in cases brought against Corbis Corp. for the loss of images they submitted to the stock agency. The settlements total more than $800,000.

The court compensated Grace at $667,685 for 45,000 lost images and Usher at $157,121 for 12,640 images. Grace had originally sought $100 million in damages, while Usher asked for $4.5 million. An original 2005 ruling awarded Grace $472,000, which he appealed for being inadequate.

Grace sued Corbis in 2002 when the agency failed to return all of his images when he left the company in 2001. Originally Grace had worked for Sygma, a French photo agency that was later acquired by Corbis. Corbis acknowledged that Sygma's record-keeping practices were "outdated."

Similarly, Usher sued the company when some of his images were not returned when he quit. In 2007, a federal court favored Usher's estimates of lost images to those claimed by Corbis, citing employee testimonials about inadequate storage practices.