The IFJ Says the Removal of Danish Cartoon from Anti-Islam Film is a Victory for Creators’ Moral Rights

The IFJ today welcomed the decision by Dutch politician Geert Wilders to remove a controversial cartoon from his anti Islam film, "Fitna". 

Wilders abused the author’s rights of cartoonist Kurt Westergaart by reproducing the cartoon in his film without seeking permission. This violation was strongly condemned by IFJ’s affiliates the Danish Union of Journalists (DUJ) and the Dutch Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (DVJ). 

The cartoon portraying the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, was one of a dozen images published two years ago leading to widespread protest amongst Muslim groups. 

“The right of an author to oppose the use of his or her work in a way which is detrimental to his or her reputation is fundamental” said IFJ general secretary Aidan White. The decision to remove the cartoon is a great victory for creators’ moral rights. Moral rights, which give creators control over how their work is used are as important as the right to be paid for using their work”, says the IFJ. 

Kurt Westergaard and the DUJ are considering further legal actions against the Dutch politician for damages as a result of the cartoon being used in the political film.