Posts Tagged ‘haiti’

Judge Rules News Agencies Cannot Use Twitter Photos Without Permission

twitternewspaper

In one of the first major tests of intellectual property law involving social media services, a judge has ruled that news agencies cannot freely publish photographs posted to Twitter without the photographer’s permission.
Read more…

Debate Over Fabienne Cherisma Photos Rekindled After Award Given

During the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a number of images that became widely discussed were of 15-year-old Fabienne Cherisma, who was shot and killed by police after looting two plastic chairs and three framed pictures. One of these photographs (shown above), captured by photographer Paul Hansen, was recently chosen as the best International News Image at the Swedish Picture of the Year Awards. There was soon a good deal of discussion in the Swedish media over the ethics of such an image.
Read more…

First Round of Fight Over Iconic Haiti Photo Goes to Photog

Earlier this year photographer Daniel Morel was shocked when a photograph he captured during the devastating earthquake in Haiti and posted to TwitPic was distributed by Agency France Presse (AFP) and published on the front page of newspapers around the world — all without his permission.

To add insult to injury, he was then sued by AFP when he sent cease and desist letters in response to the copyright infringement. The dispute has turned into a legal battle over whether images uploaded to TwitPic and shared on Twitter can be freely republished by third parties. In what might be an indication of things to come, a federal court has denied AFP’s pre-trial request to have the case thrown out.
Read more…

Rural Children Document Their Community with Project Einstein

Project Einstein is a photo training group that started in Bangladesh and is now working with international youth in South Africa, Thailand, Haiti, and Guatemala. The group chose its namesake when one of its participants pointed out, “Einstein was a refugee but could still do great things.”

The current project in Guatemala is a two-month outreach to kids and teens, teaching them the art and techniques of photographing their own community. At the end of the project, their work is exhibited online and on site in their community.

According to Digital Democracy, the project’s goal is to give the youth a voice and to get the local and international communities involved in a dialogue about “education, indigenous rights and development.”

You can view more photos taken by Q´eqchi´ Maya kids in Guatemala’s rural Zona Reyne here.

(via Boing Boing)


Image Credit: Fulvia by Project Einstein participant

News Wire Allegedly Steals Iconic Haiti Photo, Then Sues Photographer

Photojournalist Daniel Morel shot an iconic image of a shocked woman looking out from the rubble moments after last January’s earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti. Within an hour, Morel jumped on Twitter to share 13 high resolution images he had uploaded on Twitpic. By the next day, the photo of the woman was picked up by Agence France Presse (AFP) and Getty Images, was run on the cover of several publications and websites.

But Morel said he never authorized the news wires to distribute his images. In fact, several of his images were credited to another person, Lisandro Suero of the Dominican Republic, who reportedly has no photographic background. However, Suero tweeted Morel’s images without the photographer’s permission, and claimed copyright as his own:

And so began a legal storm.

Now Morel is being sued by AFP after he sent them cease and desist letters that the agency calls an “antagonistic assertion of rights.”

According to court documents, AFP claims that they did not infringe on Morel’s copyright and is suing Morel for “commercial disparagement,” as well as “demanding exorbitant payment.” AFP says that Twitter’s Terms of Service allowed for them to use, copy and distribute the image, and that Morel did not specify limits on how the photo should be credited.

Morel responded, saying that he was not familiar with Twitter’s TOS, and maintains that the images were stolen from his account without his permission, distributed and sold by the agency, which then “induced” other publications to violate Morel’s copyright. In a counterclaim to the agency’s complaint, Morel’s lawyer, Barbara Hoffman wrote:

To the extent that under the circumstances a specific intent in posting the images on Twitter can be attributed to Mr. Morel given the circumstances, … he posted his images online and advertised them on Twitter in the hopes that his images would span the globe to inform the world of the disaster, and that he would also receive compensation and credit as a professional photographer for breaking news of the earthquake before the news and wire services.

Some publications, including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, and the Associated Press contacted Morel to exchange compensation for his permission to publish. Others did not.

In order to enforce his copyright, Morel sent several cease and desist notices to several publications.

It seems that the case really boils down to the semantics of the Twitter TOS.

What might be worth noting is that the court documents from AFP frequently cite Twitter’s TOS, which mostly regards the text in Tweets, and does not extend to content linked to (otherwise, entire sites’ content might be considered royalty-free). Morel uploaded on TwitPic, which has a separate Terms, and is an entirely separate entity from Twitter.

Media Nation blogger Dan Kennedy posted PDFs of AFP’s complaint against Morel and Morel’s answer.

Whatever the verdict, this suit may change the manner in which photographers and journalists transmit their data via social media, even in difficult emergency situations like post-quake Haiti.

Do you have legal insight, experience with copyright infringement, or any thoughts about social media and the TOS?

Photos from Earthquake in Haiti, Mobilizing Global Compassion and Action

The past two days have been filled with increasingly grim news following the catastrophic magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti. If you had a chance to catch MSNBC’s coverage of the aftermath in the video above, there are some very powerful images.

Boston’s Big Picture also has some extremely moving photographs, which, without words, speak to the devastation and dire need in the small island country.

How to Help

Consider a compassionate donation to reputable charities — but a word of caution: donate DIRECTLY to charities and be wary of scams.


Update: Photographer Lane Hartwell (@lanehartwell) has created a magazine containing powerful photographs from various photojournalists have documented Haiti in the past. It’s being sold on MagCloud, and all proceeds will go to the Red Cross.