Expatica news

Royals demand SBS apology over stolen video

18 May 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima have given television broadcaster SBS three days to prevent legal action after it broadcast “stolen” images of the royal couple’s baby daughter last week.

The video images originated from Princess Maxima’s digital camera, which was stolen during a recent trip to Argentina. Despite warnings from the Government Information Service (RVD), SBS broadcast the images on 12 May.

If SBS wishes to prevent the pending legal action, Willem-Alexander and Maxima have demanded that it writes a letter admitting it acted illegally. They are also demanding that it donate EUR 5,000 to a Dutch charity.

The charity has been identified as Stichting Nederlandse Vrienden der SOS Kinderdorpen. The foundation gives shelter to orphans and abandoned children.

The couple’s lawyer claims that by broadcasting the material in spite of the fact SBS knew of its origin, the broadcaster violated the privacy rights of Prince Willem-Alexander, his family and the portrait rights of the baby Princess Amalia.

Furthermore, SBS violated the copyright of the images that were known to have been illegally released and were not intended to be made public, the lawyer wrote.

SBS is also accused of acting illegally by using audiovisual material that was obtained by a criminal act and illegally made public without the consent of those involved.

It is not acceptable that SBS consciously used the material despite the RVD warnings against doing so, the lawyer claimed.

SBS is currently preparing its reaction to the legal challenge, news agency nu.nl reported on Tuesday.

The video was first published on an Argentinean website and SBS showed parts of the footage on its entertainment programme Shownieuws. But the broadcaster said last week it has full confidence of winning the legal battle, claiming that it acted cautiously.

Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima are extremely concerned about the privacy of their family and fear commercial exploitation of their child, the future queen of the Netherlands.

Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima won a legal case at the end of February against gossip magazine Prive, which had published photos of the inside of the royal couple’s Wassenaar mansion without their permission.

The Dutch Royal House is also suggesting that a code of conduct be agreed on with the media in respect to future media coverage of Princess Amalia.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news