Posts Tagged ‘lawsuits’

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

Kodak Files New Lawsuits Against Apple and HTC Over Photo Patents

Kodak might be on its deathbed, but that’s not stopping the company from launching a new volley of lawsuits over patent infringements. Already trying to milk $1 billion from Apple, the company has filed new lawsuits against smartphone makers Apple and HTC, alleging that Apple violated four of its patents and HTC five. The lawsuits center around technology for transferring photos on and off devices. While today’s lawsuits might simply be a creative marketing effort in Kodak’s attempt to sell off its patent portfolio, the market seems pleased with it: the stock price jumped nearly 40% today.

(via Foss Patents via Engadget)

Image credit: Two Against One by Alistair Knock

Nikon Sues Sigma for $150 Million Over Vibration Reduction Technology

Things aren’t going very well for Sigma these days — just days after the world balked at the $9,700 price tag it’s attaching to the upcoming SD1 DSLR, Nikon is announcing that it’s suing Sigma for $150 million over the vibration reduction technology found in Sigma DSLR lenses. Furthermore, it’s demanding that Sigma put a halt to the manufacturing and sale of lenses that infringe on the VR patents, which might be a large number of OS (Optical Stabilization) lenses.

(via Nikon Rumors)

Image credit: Fighting Topis by Stuart Barr

Legal Rumble Over Alleged Ansel Adams “Lost Negatives” Ends with Settlement

A huge story last year was when a painter named Rick Norsigian came across 65 glass negatives at a garage sale, purchasing them for $45. He then had them examined by experts, who told him that they were previously undiscovered Ansel Adams photographs worth at least $200 million. Just as the find was being heralded as one of the greatest in art history, Ansel Adams’ relatives and Publishing Rights Trust expressed skepticism that they were in fact Adams’. It then came to light that the photos might actually belong to a man named Earl Brooks who once lived in the same city as Norsigian (Fresno, California).
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Public Outcry Causes Photographer to Drop Copyright Lawsuit

A Tucson photographer recently found out the hard way that the public doesn’t always side with photographers in copyright infringement cases, even if their claims are valid. About a month after the tragic 2011 Tucson shooting, portrait photographer Jon Wolf threatened so sue nearly three dozen media outlets after they showed a portrait he made of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green — the youngest victim — and demanded $125,000 from one newspaper for publishing the image.
Read more…

NASA Astronaut Sues Dido Over Album Cover Photograph

American NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II is suing British singer Dido over the photo used for the album cover of “Safe Trip Home”. The photo shows McCandless “free-flying” hundreds of feet from the Orbiter using a Manned Manuevering Unit (MMU). McCandless was the first person to do an untethered spacewalk.

Since McCandless does not own the rights to the image (it’s in the public domain), the lawsuit is over his “persona” being used. Having licensed his persona for advertising campaigns, his claim is that the unauthorized use of his image hurts his endorsement value for future clients.

The fact that the photo itself isn’t under copyright and the fact that McCandless appears only as a tiny spacesuit in the image make this a pretty interesting case. What’s your opinion?

(via The Guardian)

After 50 Years, Battle Still Rages Over Iconic Photograph of Che Guevara

Fifty years ago, Cuban photographer Alberto Díaz “Korda” Gutiérrez took a picture of Ernesto “Che” Guevara at a funeral with a 90mm lens on a Leica camera.

Korda was on assignment as a photographer for the publication, Revolucion. He snapped the photo on a whim, capturing Guevara’s intense, upward gaze in a brief moment. Korda later told interviewers, “It was not planned, it was intuitive.”

A fashion photographer by trade, Korda returned to the darkroom and cropped the originally horizontal photo in order to draw attention to the now iconic steely visage of the leader.

However, at first, Korda’s photo fell to the wayside, and was not published for another five months until it was run as a largely unnoticed file photo.

Seven years later, following Guevara’s death, Fidel Castro requested a photo of the leader on a poster, which was printed on a poster in Italy. Demand for the image rose in the commercial market as well, and the Italian businessman who produced the first print went on to sell over a million copies without artist attribution.

Since then, the image has become one of the most widely reproduced images in history, establishing a cultural memory and a posthumous brand.

According to the Observer, Korda’s work, at the time was not legally protected since Cuba did not recognize copyright. This meant that anyone and everyone could use the image, which contributed to the photo’s worldwide proliferation and iconic quality: the image itself has become a brand, reprinted on clothing, banners, and even on Cuban currency.

Korda received no compensation or royalties from his image.

The photographer eventually sued Smirnoff in 2000 for what he believed was a fundamental violation of Guevara’s political beliefs and an insult to his memory when the vodka company used the image in a magazine ad. Korda won, and the case also awarded him rights to his image.

In recent years after Korda’s death in 2001, Korda’s daughter, Diana Díaz, has launched copyright battles against companies she feels also abuse the image for use in advertisement. A notably ironic twist: Díaz agreed to sell licenses to “Che” branded products (the clothing, berets, etc.) in order to finance her legal pursuits.

Nevertheless, during his suit against Smirnoff Korda stated,

As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world…

Díaz’s copyright suits are similar to the AP’s case against artist Shepard Fairey, which addresses the use and reproduction of a photographic image to use as a marketing brand without the photographers’ consent.

What are your thoughts on the use and copyright status of this iconic photograph?

(via The Observer)

Image credit: Photo of Korda by Redthoreau, Guerrillero Heroico by Alberto Diaz Gutierrez, and Chinatown Night Market #2 by SqueakyMarmot