Wales

Dylan Thomas photos copyright case dismissed in Dublin

Thomas and his wife Caitlin - a photo taken nine years after their wedding Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thomas and his wife Caitlin - a different photo taken nine years after their wedding

A breach of copyright claim against the Welsh government over photographs used of Dylan Thomas in a tourism drive has been thrown out by a court in Ireland.

Visit Wales used photos taken in the 1930s to help promote the 100th anniversary of the poet's birth.

A court in Dublin heard the damages case involves Pablo Star Ltd, which owns the copyright.

But the judge said if the case was to proceed, it should be heard in a court in Wales or England.

The Welsh government claimed it has sovereign immunity.

But Pablo Star's solicitor argued the activities with the disputed images were commercial.

The photos of Thomas and wife Caitlin were taken by a friend and fellow poet Vernon Watkins, who died in 1967.

One photo is entitled Just Married and features Thomas and Caitlin shortly after their wedding in 1937.

The second photo is labelled Pennard and shows the couple playing croquet.

Image copyright Getty Images

In 2011, Pablo Star bought the copyright from Mr Watkins' widow Gwen, now in her 90s.

Pablo Star - which has offices registered in London and Dublin - has taken action against a number of companies in the UK and abroad, claiming copyright breaches.

Six claims were listed before the district court in Dublin on Thursday.

The judge dismissed four involving US and New Zealand publications, saying the court did not have jurisdiction over them.

The Welsh government case was also dismissed and the final case involving a Welsh citizen is due to be heard.

The Welsh government argued its actions are governmental activity protected under international law.

Pablo Star objected to the sovereign-immunity defence and said the promotional material on the website was part of a £4m commercial marketing campaign that included links to hotel accommodation.

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Media captionBBC Wales arts and media correspondent Huw Thomas reports from Dublin

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