Cité du Vin: €450,000 in image rights spread over 30 years

Monday October 31 2016 by Vitisphere

We did not want to sell our intellectual property rights to the Cité du Vin, we don’t work that way. We didn’t force anybody to buy them, the city of Bordeaux insisted!” claimed architects Anoux Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, founders of the XTU agency. As artists, they believe the cost of assigning their rights “is not that expensive. A standard building costs €200,000. This is an iconic building for an entire city”. The comment made the city council splutter though as it earmarked 450,000 euros in funding to buy back the rights to use XTU’s creation, the Cité du Vin.

The difference of opinion started in 2011 when XTU was commissioned as project manager. In the contract, Bordeaux city council secured the right to use the image of the Cité du Vin for non commercial purposes. The intellectual property rights were subsequently extended to include spin-offs. But XTU “considers that market development is not legally sufficient to be able to use any type of spin-off related to the Cité du Vin commercially, in the absence of specific royalty assignment linked to the building”, explained Fabien Robert, deputy mayor in charge of cultural issues. According to the council’s legal department, there is a loophole in the incriminated paragraph whereby only the architects’ project drawings are involved, and not the finished building.

From a financial perspective, council funding will be spread over 30 years. The city council adopted a covenant relinquishing commercial use of the Cité du Vin’s image to the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilisations. It will recoup its outlay by receiving annual royalties equating to 10% of sales with a minimum payment of 15,000 euros.


 [ Source: Vitisphere. Photo: Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilisations ]


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