Tuesday, May 25, 2010, the Commercial Court of Paris pronounced the liquidation of the Corbis Sygma corporation. Counselor Gorrias had been appointed liquidator and had taken over the wreckage of the press agency created by Hubert Henrotte in 1973 and then bought by Bill Gates in 1999. Nine month later, millions of photographs were in jeopardy of destruction…Until all of a sudden 736 rolls of film from the mythical photographer from Gamma Agency reappear in the courts!
In order to fully understand this surprising affair, a bit of history is needed. By the end of the 20th century what was called “the contents” appeared to have turned into a capital stake for the development of any good case concerning the internet. The game plan of the financial backer is to buy the “contents” in order to digitalize them and then put them “online”.
The classic press photo agencies –Gamma, Sygma, Sipa, Rapho and many others around the world – whose operation is based on the production of film and prints has been drowned by the action of the overwhelming new technologies.
After receiving capital from high risk investment trusts, they were left no choice but to sell their historic collections.
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