Posts Tagged ‘copyrightlaw’

Kickstarter Campaign at the Center of a Controversy Over Stolen Images

kickstartercontroversy3

The wildly successful Kickstarter campaign Blackprints is currently at the center of a heated controversy over stolen images that has already involved one copyright dispute. It seems that the campaign’s creator, Sabrina Chun, might have taken to acquiring photos of cars off of the Internet, changing them to black and white minimalist versions, and selling them as part of this campaign. (See Update) Read more…

UK Passes Controversial Copyright Act, May Yield a ‘Firestorm’ of Litigation

ukparliament

A “copyright land-grab” that will “permit the commercial exploitation of [orphan] images” and lead to a “firestorm” of litigation. Those are the terms being used by some to describe a UK bill that just received Royal Assent last week, despite drawing fire from writers and photographers the world over. Read more…

Copyright Infringement and the Culture of Suing Artists Into Submission

Andy Baio has some experience with copyright infringement, especially where iconic photographs are concerned. In case you didn’t read our previous coverage on the matter, his story goes something like this: in 2009, he put together an 8-bit version of Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue” called “Kind of Bloop,” and for the cover art he had a friend create a pixel-art version of Jay Maisel‘s famous cover photo.

Maisel wound up suing Baio for over $100,000 for the infringement, and despite an offer for free representation, potential court costs still forced Baio to settle out of court for $32,500. Baio wound up writing a long blog post about the matter, and now, a couple of years later, he’s expanded on that post in the above talk he gave at Creative Mornings in Portland. Read more…

Photographer Sues Fan Site for $600,000 Over Four Member-Uploaded Photos

jonimitchell

Les Irvin, the man behind the biggest Joni Mitchell fan site on the internet, is being sued by celebrity photographer Charlyn Zlotnik over four photos that were uploaded anonymously in the comments section of his website. Read more…

Federal Court Rules No Infringement in Case of Two Very Similar Photographs

similarphoto

Copyright law is in place to protect artistic expression, not individual ideas. That was the crux of the reasoning behind a recent federal appeals court ruling that saw no infringement on the part of Sony. In the court’s opinion, Sony’s photo (right) was not nearly similar enough to Donald Harney’s (left) and “no reasonable jury could find ‘substantial similarity’ between Sony’s recreated photo and Harney’s original.” Read more…

BuzzFeed and Samsung in Hot Water for Using Photos Without Permission

buzzfeedsamsung

The last few days have been rough on BuzzFeed, as a Reddit outcry has gained more and more traction regarding some light painting photos the website used to create ads without seeking permission or giving credit. Read more…

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

Read more…

Canadian Photogs Now Officially Own the Copyright to All of Their Photos

A big win for photographers in Canada: as of today, you now officially own the copyright to all your photographs regardless of whether they were commissioned. The development comes as a result of Canada major copyright reform bill (Bill C-11) taking effect this morning. One of the stated goals of the new copyright law is to, “give photographers the same rights as other creators.”
Read more…

Student Wins Copyright Skirmish Over Falling Bear Photo

In case you missed our earlier post, let’s get you up to speed: in the internet age, the argument is that you don’t own anything anymore. This is relevant because yet another copyright infringement lawsuit has made its way across our computer screens, this time between a student photographer and the Colorado University newspaper The CU Independent that printed and distributed his now famous falling bear image.
Read more…

You Don’t Own Anything Anymore: Copyright Law in an Internet Age

John Herrman over at BuzzFeed has written up an interesting piece on how and why “grabby” terms of service have become ubiquitous in the online world of social media:

In a world where sharing a photo is strictly a matter of getting another copy made and mailing it, or getting it published, copyrights are pretty easy to keep track of and these laws hold up pretty well. Sending a physical photo to your grandmother goes like this: you either put the picture in an envelope and send it, or you get a copy made yourself and send that.

Sending your grandmother an email photo, though, might involve copying your photo five or six times; first to Google’s servers, then to another server, then to an ISP’s CDN, then to AOL’s servers, then to your grandmother’s computer. As far as you’re concerned, this feels exactly like dropping an envelope in the mail. As far as copyright is concerned, it’s a choreographed legal dance.

And so these sites have to get your permission — a license — to copy and distribute the things you post. Just to function as advertised, they need your permission to “use” and to “host,” to “store” and “reproduce.” What they don’t necessarily need is the right to “modify” and “create derivative works,” or to “publicly perform.” That is, unless they need to make money. Which of course they do.

You Don’t Own Anything Anymore (via APhotoEditor)


Image credit: Large copyright graffiti sign on cream colored wall by Horia Varlan

Photos, Copyrights, and the “Mechanical Representation of Facts”

The debate over David LaChapelle copyright infringement lawsuit against Rhianna rages on — lawyer John William Nelson has written an article on why copyright should extend only to the literal copying of a photograph and not the elements within the photo:

A photograph is a mechanical representation of facts. This is unlike a painting, which is a non-mechanical representation of something—be it facts, such as an attempt to paint an outdoor scene or create a portrait of someone, or imagination in the form of how the artist sees the world, such as the Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. Paintings, therefore, are pure expressions of ideas or facts. Photographs, however, are mechanical expressions of facts.

[...] extending copyright protection beyond the mechanical copying of a photograph (i.e., scanning it and sending it to all your friends) is extending copyrights in photographs too far. The expression of a photograph cannot be separated from its factual reproduction of actual events. Attempting to do so leads to absurd results.

Therefore, a bright-line rule should reserve copyright protection in photographs only for the reproduction of those photographs. Copyright protection should not extend to the elements within the photographs themselves—doing so results in copyrighting facts, which is beyond the scope of copyright law.

It’s a pretty length piece, but well worth a read. What’s your opinion on this issue? Should the elements within a photograph be covered by copyright protection?

Photography Copyright, Rihanna, And Why We Need a Bright-line Rule (via Techdirt)