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Q: Permission to use Ernesto Che Guevara image on merchandise ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Permission to use Ernesto Che Guevara image on merchandise
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: somynona-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Aug 2003 03:41 PDT
Expires: 14 Sep 2003 03:41 PDT
Question ID: 245027
What are the contact details of the organisation I need to get hold of
to obtain a license to use the famous Che Guevera image on
merchandise, which was taken by Alberto Korda? I'm told by that the image belongs to the estate of Alberto Diaz
Subject: Re: Permission to use Ernesto Che Guevara image on merchandise
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 15 Aug 2003 05:33 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello somynona,

According to the Cuban Agencia de Informacion Nacional (National
Information Agency), the heir to Korda’s intellectual property is his
daugher, Diana Díaz López. She won a case in a French court in July
2003 against a group that used the Che image in a campaign hostile to

According to an article in the UK Sunday Herald, about yet another
inappropriate use of the Che image, Diana Díaz López is the chief
choreographer of the National Ballet of Cuba.

You could try contacting her there:
Ballet Nacional de Cuba 
Gran Teatro de La Habana
Paseo del Prado y San Rafael, 
Centro Habana, 
Ciudad de La Habana.  
Tel.: 861 3078 

However, there is a further issue that Che’s daughter Almeida,
speaking in Melbourne in June 2003, said  that “all rights to her
father's image lay with the Che Guevara Studies Centre, which had been
set up in Cuba with her mother Aleida as a director. With the help of
lawyers, the centre has been reclaiming Che's image around the world.”
Article in The Age, July 28, 2003.

Therefore, the Centre is perhaps the best place to try first to obtain
the information you require.

Centro de Estudios Che Guevara
Calle 47, Número 772, entre Conill y Tulipán, 
Nuevo Vedado, 
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.
Teléfono: (537) 8 82-0344
Fax: (537) 55-5725

Alberto Korda is the professional name under which Alberto Diaz
Gutierrez shows his photography.  He took the famous photograph of Che
in 1960.  Since that time, he never made any money from the image,
despite it being reproduced in so many different ways.

Finally something snapped when he saw it used trivially in an advert
by the producers of Smirnoff Vodka.  Helped by the UK, Chile
Solidarity Campaign, he sued the company in London, September 2000.

His objection was that “the ad, for a spicy vodka, trivialized the
historic importance of his photograph. The image was superimposed on a
hammer and sickle motif, with a chili pepper used to depict the

He said: "As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I
am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his
memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world," he said.
"But I am categorically against the exploitation of Che's image for
the promotion of products such as alcohol, or for any purpose that
denigrates the reputation of Che."

The court awarded him damages and affirmed his copyright over the
image. Alberto Diaz Gutierrez has said that the money from this
settlement and any future copyright fees he obtains will be donated to
help provide medical care for children in Cuba.

Information from an article on the CNN web site

The settlement was even more important due to the fact that Gutierrez
had given two copies of the picture to the Italian publisher
Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in 1967.  He said he wanted no money. In
addition, Cuba had not signed the Berne Convention, because Fidel
Castro did not agree with the principle of protecting intellectual
property.  After Che was killed, Feltrinelli reproduced the image as a
poster, claiming the copyright, and made a fortune.
An account by photographer Michael Harder, as told by Giutierrez in
Havana, 1993

Search strategy: 
1. Che image copyright
2. “Alberto Korda” estate
3. Diana Díaz
4. “Ballet Nacional de Cuba”
5. “centro de estudios” “Che Guevara”

Clarification of Answer by tehuti-ga on 15 Aug 2003 05:35 PDT
The sentence should read: Alberto Korda is the professional name under
which Alberto Diaz Gutierrez SHOWED his photography.

He died in May, 2001.
somynona-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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