PARIS (AP) – Walt Disney Co. and a video distributor were ordered Friday to make a down payment of $20,000 in overdue royalties to the French voice of “Snow White.”A Paris court also appointed an expert to determine the exact amount Disney and Gaumont Buena Vista Intl. will have to pay actress Lucie Dolene, the French-language “Snow White”‘ for more than 30 years. Dolene, 66, sued the company claiming that she never received royalties from the millions of vid and audio cassettes sold in France and francophone countries. Judge Alain Girardet also ordered Disney to pay Dolene $6,000 in damages because her name did not appear in the film credits. “This was an enormous ripoff,” she said. “Is it fair that Walt Disney earn billions while I get nothing?” Dolene also claimed she received no royalties from any of the spinoffs of the classic film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”‘ French law stipulates that creative works – including the use of a voice – cannot be exploited or transformed without proper payment to the owner.
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