Jan 29 2009 By Peter Carroll
COUNCIL officials are to get tough with firms using a Salvador Dali masterpiece without permission.
The copyright of the Spanish artist's 'Christ of St John of the Cross' painting is owned by the city who are determined to claim back royalties from firms illegally using the image.
Legal eagles Burness have been hired to track down those who owe money to the council which could run into "tens of thousands of pounds".
Cllr Archie Graham, Executive Member for Culture and Sport, said: "We could be looking at recovering many tens of thousands of pounds.
"The lawyers use specialist software to trawl the internet for those selling merchandise using the image.
"If the company or individual don't have a licence, then we'll contact them to get an agreement and a fee for past infringements. If they don't agree, then it's on to the courts."
The first letters to companies and organisations already identified as breaching the copyright have already been sent and council officials are waiting to hear back.
Cllr Graham added: "The Dali is a masterpiece that has been enjoyed by many and has become an iconic piece with global recognition.
"However, while it may be free to visit our museum and view this outstanding work, it is simply wrong that there are companies out there who are breaching our copyright and profiting from the image.
"I am delighted Burness is looking for potential breaches to recoup money belonging to the people of Glasgow."