Greenpeace must stop using images of Maya the Bee without Studio 100’s authorisation, otherwise risking financial penalties of up to a million euros, L’Echo reported on Wednesday. In May 2018, Greenpeace launched a video campaign in which images of Maya the Bee were used to advertise cigarettes. The idea was to get across the message Studio 100 was marketing products harmful to children’s health, namely pork butchery products, with an effigy of the popular bee, whereas the NGO is campaigning for less meat consumption.
When the advertisement in question was released, Studio 100, speaking in terms of an aggressive campaign, let it be understood that it could not “tolerate characters being misused or associated with such products.”
Studio 100 has taken legal action to have the campaign in question stopped. Following a brief passage through the Antwerp courts, it was finally the Dutch-speaking business tribunal in Brussels that at the beginning of April agreed Studio 100 was completely in the right.
The tribunal considered that Greenpeace, by using (and hijacking) images of Maya the Bee without Studio 100’s consent had violated the company’s exploitation rights, as well as the moral rights of Waldemar Bonsels Stiftung, a German law firm responsible for managing authors’ rights generated by Maya.
Greenpeace must end its campaign or risk being fined at the rate of 2,500 euros a day and per infraction, up to a maximum of a million euros.