Posts Tagged ‘ip’

Bound by Law: A Comic Book That Will Teach You the Basics of US Copyright Law

boundbylaw

Want to learn the basics of US copyright law without having to spend eons going through imageless websites and backbreaking textbooks? Check out Bound by Law. It’s a comic book that translates abstract and confusing copyright laws into easy to understand “visual metaphors.”

By the time you’re through with the 72-page comic, you’ll know quite a bit about the basics of copyright law, including fair use, infringement, and public domain.
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Amazon Patent Shows Common Seamless Background Lighting Technique

seamless

Is Amazon attempting to patent an age old photography lighting technique? A recently published patent seems to suggest that, and it’s getting some photographers up in arms.
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Use First, Ask Later: Don’t Want to “Play Hardball”? Don’t Publish Online

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The issue of publishing social media photos of breaking news without their owners’ permission is in the news again. After a helicopter crashed in central London last Wednesday, the London Evening Standard found a photo snapped by a witness named Craig Jenner and shared on Twitter. Unable to obtain permission from Jenner prior to its paper going to the press, the Evening Standard went ahead and published the image on its front page.
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Kodak Patents Acquired by Group That Includes Apple, Google, and Facebook

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One chapter in the saga of Kodak’s escape from bankruptcy has come to an end. The company announced today that it has completed the sale of its valuable imaging patents for $525 million to a group of Silicon Valley companies. The deal involves more than 1,100 patents related to the capturing, manipulating, and sharing of digital photographs.
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Fatality: Apple Asking for Permission to Punch Kodak While Down

It wasn’t too long ago that Kodak filed multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in a scramble for life-giving cash, but now the tables have turned. Less than a month after Kodak filed for bankruptcy and announced the end of its camera business, Apple is reportedly in the process of asking the court for permission to sue bankrupt Kodak for infringing on Apple’s patents in its printers, digital cameras, and digital picture frames. This back and forth IP fight is one that Kodak might not be in for long: the company is still trying to sell off its portfolio of roughly 1,100 imaging patents.

(via Bloomberg via Ars Technica)


Image credit: Knockout by What What

Eye-Fi Says New SD Association Wireless Standard Violates Its IP

Perhaps lost amidst the excitement over new cameras at CES 2012 earlier this month was the SD Association’s unveiling of a new Wi-Fi data transfer standard. This new specification should make it easier for other memory card manufacturers to jump into the Wi-Fi-capable memory card game — an arena currently dominated by Eye-Fi (and more recently Toshiba).

Eye-Fi is, predictably, not happy with this latest development. The company is itself part of the SD Association, but has chosen not to back the standard. In a blog post published last week, CEO Yuval Koren argues that any company implementing the new standard would violate Eye-Fi’s patents for technology that took “tens of millions of dollars and several years” to create.

(via Eye-Fi via Engadget)


Image credit: Eye-Fi card by sphynge

At What Point Does Inspiration Turn Into Copyright Infringement?

At what point does inspiration turn into plagiarism? That’s the question that popped up last year when Rhianna was sued by David LaChapelle over scenes found in one of her music videos, and it’s the same issue with a lawsuit recently filed by photographer Janine Gordon against photographer Ryan McGinley. Gordon claims that 150 of McGinley’s images — including some used for a Levi’s ad campaign — are “substantially based” on her photos. In the three pairs of disputed images shown above, the ones on the left are by Gordon and the ones on the right by McGinley.
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Can Monkeys Own Rights to Photos?

When we shared the story of how monkeys hijacked photographer David Slater’s camera and unwittingly snapped some self-portraits, we asked the question “doesn’t the monkey technically own the rights to the images?” Techdirt, a blog that often highlights copyright issues, went one step further and dedicated a whole post to that question.
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Photographer Finds Work Used on Vehicle Inspection Stickers in Texas

A Texas-based photographer named David Langford received quite a surprise earlier this year when his friend tipped him off about a photo of his being used on vehicle registration inspection stickers in Texas. Turns out an estimated 4.5+ million stickers used a silhouette created from a photo of his from 1984 titled “Days End 2″. Langford is now suing the state to stop further use of his photo on the stickers — designed by prison inmates as part of a contract between the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of Public Safety — and to collect damages and attorney fees.

Suit centers on silhouette cowboy (via The Online Photographer)

Sculptors Accused of Plagiarizing Photo

Last week we reported that a photographer was in hot water after photographing public art and selling it as stock photography. It just so happens that a new case has arisen involving just the opposite: sculptors basing work off a photograph without permission.

The above image, “Sad Vader”, is a popular photograph made by New York City-based photographer Alex Brown that has become ubiquitous on the Internet and sometimes published without crediting Brown. UK-based sculptors Craig Little and Blake Whitehead of littlewhitehead created a sculpture based on the photograph titled “Spam” due to how the photograph can seemingly be found everywhere on the web. Here’s a photograph of the installation:

When emailed by Brown, the artists replied,

On all the blogs we found it on, none of them mentioned the maker of the image. We never knew the image had been taken by a professional photographer.

In an email to Photo District News, Brown states,

My main objection to all of this is that I exhibit this image in galleries and sell limited edition prints, […] By appropriating it, they directly undermine my ability to do so.

What are your thoughts on this situation? What action should be taken?

(via PDNPulse)


Update on February 10th, 2010: Dave, a reader, tells us that the British Journal of Photography got in touch with littlewhitehead and received a pretty lengthy statement. Here’s a snippet:

We contacted Alex immediately after hearing of his concerns and asked if there was anyway we could deal with the situation amicably. We assured him it was never our intention to upset him, nor was it merely to copy what he had already done. However, instead of replying to us, he has selected certain parts of this email and posted blogs slandering us plagiarists. He has also contacted galleries we’ve worked with also slandering us plagiarists. We do not really believe this is an appropriate first step towards dealing with the situation amicably.


Image credits: Sad Vader by Alex Brown. Spam by littlewhitehead.