The Daily Mail is no stranger to copyright infringement accusations, but this time they’ve taken it even further — publishing a photo after the owner denied them permission to do so. Alice Taylor of Wonderland recently snapped a photo of a “dangerously emaciated” mannequin promoting GAP’s “Always Skinny” line of clothes. As the photo started spreading on the web, The Daily Mail emailed Taylor to ask for permission to use the image, which she agreed to — on the condition that the newspaper donate £250 to a charity of her choice. When they balked at the price, she gave them a flat out “no”.
That same day, they published an article (
which has since been taken down [Update: It's back up]) using both the photo and quotes lifted from The Washington Post without include any linkbacks. Taylor is now demanding that they cough up a £2000 donation for the unauthorized use.
(via Wonderland via Reddit)
Update: The Daily Mail has apologized for publishing the photos, which was apparently due to a breakdown in communications. They’re planning to settle with the Taylor.
The legal battle between photographer Mike Hipple and sculptor Jack Mackie over a photo of Mackie’s public art piece “Dance Steps on Broadway” has ended with Hipple paying a settlement out of court. Mackie writes,
Anyone can make photographs of any public art and do most anything they want with the photograph. Private photos are most likely not infringements. People can frame them and give them to their uncles and aunts as gifts, they can post them on their facebook pages, or they can make Valentines with them and give them away. What they can not do, and this was the basis for the lawsuit, is offer to commercially sell them, which Mr. Hipple did, at least twice.
[...] The legal issues surrounding this case have always been clear and obvious. Instead of acceding to the clarity of the law, Mr. Hipple attempted numerous defenses. Mr. Hipple pleaded that because my art work is popular I should no longer be allowed to hold copyright. Tell that to Walt Disney. Mr. Hipple pleaded that one can not copyright public art. Tell that to the US Registrar of Copyrights. Mr. Hipple claimed that my art work is “instructional” and that his photograph “depicts dancing.” Taking him up on this argument we produced an image of his photograph containing my Dance Steps juxtaposed to an image of his carefully posed shoe model on a blank sidewalk [shown above]. Does his image without the Steps “depict dancing?” You decide.
Our initial post on this case in early 2010 sparked quite a bit of debate in the comments, with plenty of people arguing both sides.
In mid-2010, Time Magazine showed off a demonstration of a slick tablet app they were making in collaboration with The Wonderfactory. As it became widely shared across the web, HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs started receiving messages from fans who spotted his work in the video demo. Problem was, he had never given the magazine or the agency permission to use his work.
Since launching in 2008, TwitPic has been at the center of quite a few copyright controversies and legal battles, especially when disasters strike and Twitter users are able to publish photos of things that are happening well before major news outlets. Back in early 2010 photographer Daniel Morel had an iconic photograph taken during the Haiti earthquake widely republished in newspapers across the world without his permission after he uploaded the photos to TwitPic, then later that year Twitter’s decision to display TwitPic photos directly on their website caused a brouhaha. TwitPic has finally decided to update their Terms of Service to make it clear that users of the service retain the copyright of everything they upload.
Alberto Korda‘s iconic photo of Che Guevara, titled “Guerrillero Heroico“, is constantly at the center of copyright battles, with Koda’s daughter Diana Díaz even licensing the image for branded products in order to fund the legal fights. The latest case involves a London gift company, takkoda, which recently began selling products featuring a dog Photoshopped to look like Che in Korda’s photo. The designers insist that there was no copyright infringement but, rather than risking a prolonged legal battle, the gift company decided to settle out of court. Though the amount of the settlement was not made known, it’s estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
(via Amateur Photographer)
Last month we reported that a Flickr photographer had found his photograph of a car being used as a Gap clothing design without his permission. It now appears that appropriating images from the web wasn’t limited to that design, nor just the Gap brand — Old Navy, another brand owned by Gap, is now being accused of stealing a car photograph as well. A photographer was strolling around in an Old Navy store in El Centro, California when he came across a shirt that he just couldn’t stop staring at. It featured a Land Cruiser that look remarkably similar to one he had photographed before.
Richard Prince, the artist who “rephotographed” a cigarette advertisement and had it sell for more than $1 million, has just lost a copyright infringement lawsuit after being sued by photographer Patrick Cariou. Prince had taken 41 photographs made by Cariou from the book Yes, Rasta, modified them in various ways (sometimes minor), and displayed them at a gallery exhibition as his own work (above is one of Cariou’s photos on the left with Prince’s piece on the right). The exhibition went on to generate over $10 million for Prince and the gallery.
After several Egyptian secret police buildings were raided recently by protestors, Egyptian blogger Hossam (AKA 3arabawy) stayed awake for two days organizing and uploading photographs of members of Egypt’s secret police who have been accused of brutality and torture. The problem was, Hossam was uploading the images to Flickr, and Flickr wasn’t happy about the fact that he didn’t shoot them. Flickr soon vaporized the photographs and emailed him a warning for copyright violation.
In February 2008, Seattle-based photographer Mike Hipple received a letter from the lawyers of sculptor Jack Mackie that one of his stock photographs infringed upon Mackie’s copyright. Shown above, the photograph includes a portion of Mackie’s “Dance Steps on Broadway”, a public art piece created in 1979 with public funds.
Though the stock agency complied immediately with Mackie’s demands by removing the image and providing a settlement, Mackie is now suing Hipple for “copyright infringement and claiming the full measure of statutory damages, possibly $60,000 or more.” On the blog Hipple set up to collect defense fund donations, he states,
Now if this doesn’t qualify as fair use of the sculpture, I don’t know what does. “Fair Use” is a legal concept that allows a certain amount of copying of someone else’s work—you can get a fuller idea of how it works at the Stanford Fair Use Project website.
Think of it this way: if Mr. Mackie is correct and this isn’t fair use, then he can file a $60,000 law suit against anyone who, when strolling along Capitol Hill, thinks the dance steps are nice and takes a photo or video. He may not find you if you just leave the image on your camera or computer, but as soon as you post it to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc., he can (and apparently will) sue you.
What do you think? Is this a case of copyright infringement or fair use?
(via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: Photo by Mike Hipple. Screenshot from Motion to Dismiss on Photo Attorney