When photographer Mannie Garcia — known best, perhaps, for his iconic photograph of President Obama — was arrested for disorderly conduct while recording Maryland police officers performing an arrest, he didn’t realize that it would mean the loss of his White House credentials. And although he was eventually acquitted and given back his camera (with the memory card missing), the damage had already been done and Garcia is looking to hold someone accountable. Read more…
A couple of weeks ago, reports confirmed that Olympus ex-CEO Michael Woodford would be settling with his former employer out of court rather than taking them to task for his unfair dismissal. Woodford was let go after blowing the whistle on Olympus’ financial scandal, but now it seems he will have the last laugh as The New York Times has finally put a figure to the settlement: $15.4 Million.
To make matters worse for the financially unstable Olympus, previous rumors that Panasonic would be investing in the company and becoming its biggest shareholder are being flatly denied by president Fumio Ohtsubo. That doesn’t mean Olympus isn’t still searching for an investor, but Panasonic — who just days ago seemed like Olympus’ knight in shining armor — is definitely out.
(via The New York Times and Reuters)
Image credit: Brand Reflection by J-Rod85
Update: Apparently, after hearing the Montreal Gazette’s response and suffering a rough social media backlash, Labatt have decided to back off and not pursue the issue any further. You can find all of the details here.
We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if your company logo showed up in a picture of an alleged killer? Chances are you wouldn’t be too thrilled with any of the 1000 words that picture was generating.
That’s the situation beer company Labatt recently found itself in because of a photo of murder suspect Luka Magnotta publicized in the Montreal Gazette. Magnotta was recently accused of murdering a Chinese engineering student, dismembering the body and mailing the parts to political parties — and in said photo(seen above) he is drinking a Labatt Blue. Needless to say, Labatt isn’t happy with what the picture is doing for their company image. Read more…
Just yesterday news broke that Michael Woodford — the former Olympus CEO who blew the whistle on the now-infamous scandal and was subsequently fired — would be suing his former employer over unfair dismissal for a whopping $60 million dollars. And today, in an altogether not unexpected turn of events, Olympus is said to be preparing to settle out of court for a smaller (yet still massive) amount of money — “only” $15.5 million.
The settlement is still pending approval from the new board, but all evidence points to a positive outcome for Woodford, who over the last several months has been hailed as everything from whistleblower to “boldest business person of the year.” After this settlement we could probably also add “significantly rich[er]” to that list.
Image credit: Money by 401K
Clockwise from top left: Jay Lee's original photograph, a screenshot of Google Image Search results, and a screenshot of Candice Schwager's website showing the image being used
After discovering that multiple websites had used one of his photos without permission, photographer Jay Lee began sending out DMCA takedown notifications to web hosts in an attempt to protect his copyright. One of the websites was owned by a woman named Candice Schwager, who had 14 of her sites temporarily taken offline as a result of the takedown request. Turns out Schwager is involved in both helping represent special needs children and helping a man named Louis Guthrie get elected as County Sheriff. This is where the story gets weird.
Back in 2006, a pornography publishing company named Perfect 10 attempted to sue Google over copyright infringement, claiming that the thumbnails displayed on Google’s image search did not fall under “fair use.” Ultimately, the Supreme Court wouldn’t even hear the case, allowing the ruling that thumbnails are fair use to stand and handing Perfect 10 yet another loss (they’ve sustained many in this area).
If you’ve been following us for a while you may remember the Hope poster lawsuit we reported on in January of 2010. The case pitted artist Shepard Fairey against the AP and Mannie Garcia over a photograph Garcia had taken of President Obama. Fairey, who ultimately lost the case when he admitted to having destroyed and falsified evidence, was claiming that his poster fit the definition of fair use.
Today we have a similar issue of photographs that have been altered artistically, only the players have changed to music photographer Jim Marshall’s Estate vs. Thierry Guetta (Mr. Brainwash) and Google.
Here’s a good example of why photographers should think about carrying liability insurance: Art + Auction magazine is being sued for $300,000 by art collector Corice Amran after its photographers accidentally knocked over a 2,630-year-old Nigerian Nok statue. The magazine was photographing the terracotta statue — the oldest known figurative sculpture south of the Sahara — at Amran’s house in May 2011 when the photographers decided to pick it up and move it to the opposite side of the room. According to the lawsuit,
During the photographers’ move of the Nok figure, the Nok figure fell onto the floor and was smashed into a myriad of pieces, cannot be restored and is a total loss. Defendant, through the photographers, acted negligently and without the due care necessary with respect to the Nok figure, particularly in light of its rarity, value and fragility. As the result of defendant’s negligence, the 2,630-year-old Nok figure owned by plaintiff was destroyed.
At least it was an inanimate statue and not a baby…
(via Courthouse News via Boing Boing)
PDN has published an interview with art collector Jonathan Sobel, who’s suing photographer William Eggleston for creating and selling new prints of iconic photos that were once sold as “limited edition” prints. The new prints that recently fetched $5.9 million at auction were digital prints that were larger than the original ones.
The dispute boils down to this question: If an artist produces and sells a limited edition of a photographic work, and then re-issues the same image in a different size, or in a different print format or medium, does the re-issue qualify as a separate edition? Or do the new prints breach New York law that defines “limited edition,” and therefore defraud the buyers of those original limited edition versions of the work?
The answer could have a significant effect on the photographic print market. A number of photographers issue limited editions of their works, then later issue new editions of the same works, reprinted at different sizes or in different mediums. The reason is obvious: When an edition sells out, and scarcity drives up the price, artists want to cash in on pent up demand.
Sobel, who has spent 10 years studying and collecting Eggleston’s work, claims that eight of his prints that were previously worth $850,000 have been devalued by the recent sale.
Q&A: Art Collector Jonathan Sobel Explains His Beef with William Eggleston (via The Click)
Last month we reported that 36 digital pigment prints of photos by William Eggleston had been auctioned off for a whopping $5.9 million. At least one man wasn’t too happy about the news: a New York-based art collector named Jonathan Sobel has filed a lawsuit against Eggleston, claiming that the photographer’s decisions to sell new, oversized prints of his iconic images has diluted the resale value of the originals. Sobel owns one of the largest private collections of Eggleston’s photographs — 192 photos worth an estimated $5 million. He is seeking unspecified damages and also a ban to prevent Eggleston from making new prints of his 1960s suburbia photos.