If you’ve ever shot with a Leica M rangefinder, you probably know how effective the camera can be for stealthy shooting. After all, there’s no mirror that needs to swing out of the way like there is in a DSLR, so the main sound you’ll hear is the soft click of the shutter curtain flapping open to expose the film or sensor.
It’s not just Leica aficionados that appreciate the silent shutter: did you know that the Leica M is held as the standard for silent photography in courtrooms across the United States?
Former Olympus president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa may soon spend up to five years of his life in prison for his role in Olympus’ massive financial scandal that rocked corporate Japan back in 2011. Prosecutors allege that Kikukawa orchestrated a coverup of $1.7 billion in company losses, one of the biggest frauds in Japanese history and the country’s equivalent of America’s Enron scandal.
In December 2012, Instagram took steps toward profitability by adding some controversial monetization-related sections to its Terms of Service. The resulting outcry led to key sections being restored to original 2010 versions, but that didn’t stop a certain user named Lucy Funes from launching a class action lawsuit against the photo sharing service.
The latest news in the saga is that Instagram is now asking that the lawsuit be thrown out.
The debate over whether or not the US Government should release photos of Osama Bin Laden’s body has been going on ever since his death at the hands of Seal Team 6 in May of 2011. Last April, it seemed that the book had closed on the matter when a federal judge ruled not to release the photos for various reasons.
But certain parties — the conservative legal group Judicial Watch in this case — refuse to take no for an answer, leading the US Court of Appeals in Washington to take another look at the matter. Read more…
Photographers based in the UK now have an easier and cheaper legal path to take if they discover someone infringing upon their copyrights. Chris Cheesman of Amateur Photographer writes that photographers can now receive do-it-yourself justice without having to hire a lawyer:
Intellectual property disputes can now be resolved using the ‘small claims track’ in the Patents County Court (PCC), following a Government announcement of a ‘simpler and easier’ system last month. Photographers can pursue damages for breach of copyright, for up to £5,000, without even appointing a solicitor, unlike before where they may have been put off by a potentially long, and expensive, legal fight.
Furthermore, the damages limit may rise to £10,000 under Ministry of Justice proposals, possibly as early as next year. Crucially, under the new system, photographers can avoid the prospect of a lengthy court battle and the fear of having to pay the legal fees of the successful party if they lose.
Apparently the US Government is currently looking into doing something similar.
Photo Copyright Boost Set to Open Online ‘Floodgates’ [Amateur Photographer via Photo.net]
Image credit: Photo illustration based on 365:11:9 Gavel by easylocum
It looks like the Olympus financial scandal is finally coming to an end. It has been nearly a year since it came to light that there were massive cases of fraud and coverups going on in the upper echelons of Olympus management. What started as a CEO’s firing quickly spiraled into one of the biggest scandals to ever hit corporate Japan — the country’s equivalent of the US’ Enron fiasco.
In the end, a number of the company’s top executives were arrested after submitting their resignations. The trials for those former bigwigs are only now starting to get underway. Three of them, including former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa (pictured above), pleaded guilty today to charges of falsifying accounts and covering up more than $1 billion in losses. The camera company itself also filed a guilty plea.
After being arrested on October 1, 2007 for using his cell phone to film officers making an arrest, Boston lawyer Simon Glik sued the city for violating his civil rights. Late last year the court denied a motion to have the case dismissed, and just yesterday it was announced that the City of Boston had come to a settlement with Glik, agreeing to pay him $170,000 for damages and legal fees. The decision last year and the settlement yesterday both reaffirm that the First Amendment protects the right to photograph and film police officers carrying out their duties in a public place.
(via ACLU via Ars Technica)
Image credit: cop snapping pics with cellphone by SpecialKRB
It’s not uncommon to hear stories of wedding photographers getting sued by unsatisfied clients, but one lawsuit currently underway in New York is causing quite a stir. Todd Remis (pictured on right) of Manhattan is suing 65-year-old studio H & H Photographers (on left), claiming that the photographers had missed the final 15 minutes of the wedding that included the last dance and bouquet toss. However, there are details that make the case bizarre:
[...] what is striking, said the studio that took the pictures, is that Mr. Remis’s wedding took place in 2003 and he waited six years to sue. And not only has Mr. Remis demanded to be repaid the $4,100 cost of the photography, he also wants $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding and fly the principals to New York so the celebration can be re-shot by another photographer.
Re-enacting the wedding may pose a particular challenge, the studio pointed out, because the couple divorced and the bride is believed to have moved back to her native Latvia. [#]
Studio owner Dan Fried says that the cost of defending themselves in court has already matched the sum demanded by Remis, and calls the case “an abuse of the legal system.”
Years Later, Lawsuit Seeks to Recreate a Wedding [NYTimes]
Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!
Image credits: Photographs by H & H Photographers
The ACLU of Southern California has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and several of its deputies, claiming that they unlawfully harassed, detained, and searched photographers simply because they were taking pictures. The suit asks the court to instruct the Sheriff’s Department to stop detaining citizens on the basis of photography, and also seeks damages. ACLU attorney Peter Bibring tells the LA Times,
Photography is not a crime. It’s protected 1st Amendment expression. It violates the Constitution’s core protections for sheriff’s deputies to detain and search people who are doing nothing wrong. To single them out for such treatment while they’re pursuing a constitutionally protected activity is doubly wrong.
One of the confrontations cited by the lawsuit was captured on camera, and can be seen here. The Los Angeles Times notes that similar lawsuits have been filed in other states as well. Earlier this year the Long Beach police department came under fire after it came to light that officers were instructed to be on the lookout for photos with “no apparent aesthetic value”.
ACLU sues Sheriff’s Department, alleges photographers were harassed [Los Angeles Times]
Thanks for the tip, Marc!
A 19-year-old man in the UK has been sentenced to two months in prison for snapping a courtroom photo. Paul Thompson was sitting in a public gallery last week — the defendant was a friend who was on trial for robbery — when another friend texted him to ask where he was. Thompson decided to snap a picture with his Blackberry to explain why he couldn’t talk, but was quickly arrested by officers who noticed what he was doing. He was then sentenced to two months in prison for “contempt of court” by Judge Barbara Mensah, who wanted to send out a strong message:
There are notices all around the court building about not taking photographs in court. This is a serious offence and the message must go out that people cannot take photos.
Although two months in jail seems harsh, it could have been worse: CBS News notes that the law gives the courts the right to jail someone for up to two years for photography.
(via The Guardian via Small Aperture)
Update: Apparently the teen was being a lot more disruptive than most news sources are reporting. Thanks Tom.
Image credit: Courtroom by ☺ Lee J Haywood