An Argentine naval officer who took pictures while his...

NEW YORK -- An Argentine naval officer who took pictures while his battleship sank during the Falklands War filed a multimillion-dollar suit against five news organizations for using his photos, his lawyers said Friday.

Lt. Martin Sgut scrambled ontoa lifeboat after British submarines torpedoed the battleship General Belgrano in frigid waters of the South Atlantic on May 2, 1982, according to the suit.


As the liferaft floated away, Sgut took pictures of the sinking ship, the suit said.

In hospital, recovering from exposure, Sgut alleges duplicates of his photographs were made and sold for $10,000 to Gamma Presse Image, a French company which sells news photographs.

Gamma and its U.S. branch, Liaison Agency, Inc. then sold exclusive rights to the pictures to The New York Times Co. Inc., Newsweek, Inc., Associated Press, Inc., and unidentified others, according to the suit.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in New York alleges these news organizations violated U.S. copyright laws by distributing or publishing the pictures.

Sgut's lawyer, Marc Jacobson, said the Argentine naval captain never authorized use of the pictures and has never been paid for them.

The suit seeks all the copies of the photographs and damages of $250,000 each from The Times, Newsweek, and AP. It seeks $1 million each from Gamma and Liaison.


Jacobson said other news organizations that ran the pictures will be added to the suit.

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