Tsunami-filmer in Khao Lak bankrupts without payment for his film

I'm sure you remember the many eyewitness films that spread across the worlds newsoutlets after the Tsunami in 2004, many showing how people were dragged away by the masses of water. One film shows how the water left the beach, only to return as a giant wave and engulf a man who was standing on the beach, perhaps too shocked to move or unaware of what was coming right at him. The man is not seen again in the footage.

Like eveything that once hit the newspapers or airwaves, you can find it on the web. The rather iffy website Wave of destruction has said film here under the name Tsunami-Hits-Khao-Lak. At the very end of the film, you'll se a tiny blipp of an interview with Arunkul Charoenkul.

Arunkul Charoenkul filmed the waves destruction from his Café at the beach. The cafe, which could have been an economic goldmine in any other years tourist season, is located right off the beach with outdoor seating and shading trees. It's desolated this year. Arunkul sold one time airing rights to both Australian and Thai TV of his film for 500 dollars, and made some money that helped save the café and all of his employees while they had to keep the café shut the weeks immediately following the disaster .
But the film has since aired thousands of times across the world, and Arunkul Charoenkul who still owns all the copyrights for his film, has not given permission to anyone else to air nor received payment for their airing. Come October, he might have to close his cafe, unable to afford it another season.

SvD newspaper in Sweden interviewed him:
Why don't you contact a lawyer?
-"I don't know how or where to start. I don't know how to get in touch with the people responsible who are airing my film across the worlds TV-channels." replies Arunkul.

Svd's journalist Susanna Baltscheffsky concludes: "With the images that he had the rights to available for sale his economical worries shouldn't have been this large. If he had been paid."

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caffeinegoddess's picture

That is so tragic. I hope he can find someone to help sue the pants off those who infringed on his copyright.

James Trickery's picture

That's sad!

lapetiteanglaise's picture

This is becoming an increasing problems with public contributions to the news. For instance the BBC has been calling for people to send them their pictures/videos of the recent events in London but if you read their terms and conditions on their website, by sending them a contribution you agree to them owning the copyright of the images...

"Contributions to bbc.co.uk

Where you are invited to submit any contribution to bbc.co.uk (including any text, photographs, graphics, video or audio) you agree, by submitting your contribution, to grant the BBC a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licenseable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, make available to the public, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to your contribution worldwide and/or to incorporate your contribution in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in your contribution, and in accordance with privacy restrictions set out in the BBC's Privacy Policy. If you do not want to grant to the BBC the rights set out above, please do not submit your contribution to bbc.co.uk. "

Similan Islands Liveaboards's picture

That is very sad, Khao Lak is now recovery from the tsunami 10 year later.