Posts Tagged ‘legal’

Justice Department Affirms the Right to Photograph Police in Public

usdepartmentjustice

The US Department of Justice issued a statement this past Sunday that confirms the fact that the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendment protect citizens’ rights to photograph police in public places.
Read more…

Crash Video Controversy Puts NASCAR Copyright Grab in Spotlight

A serious car crash at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 this past Saturday caused debris to go flying into the stands, sending a number of spectators to the hospital — some with very serious injuries. A fan named Tyler Andersen was in the area where the accident happened, and had his camera recording video as the whole thing unfolded. After the incident made national headlines, Anderson posted the 1m16s video above to YouTube (warning: it doesn’t show any injuries, but it’s a bit disturbing).

NASCAR wasn’t too pleased with the video, and sent YouTube a DMCA takedown request, claiming that it was a case of copyright infringement. YouTube complied and took down the video, sparking cries of “censorship.”
Read more…

The Legality and Ethics of Pointing a Lens Into a Private Residence for Art

michaelwolf1

Award-winning photographer Michael Wolf is raising some eyebrows with a new photo project titled “Window Watching.” The series features photographs of high-rise apartment windows in Hong Kong, offering glimpses into the lives of people living inside the private residences. Basically, Wolf pointed a telephoto lens at open windows to photograph people going about their day-to-day-lives, without their knowledge and consent.
Read more…

Instagram Trying to Have Policy Change Class Action Lawsuit Thrown Out

instagramclassaction

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.
Read more…

Teen Arrested for Bullying Others Using Hurtful Instagram Photos

instaharass1

A 15-year-old boy in Colorado has been arrested for cyber-bulling using Instagram. He is being charged with five counts of third-degree harassment for allegedly downloading photographs of his classmates from Facebook and then uploading them to an anonymous Instagram account with hurtful captions attached.
Read more…

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…

The Benefits of Officially Registering Your Photo Copyrights with the US Govt

copyrightoffice

Judy L. Thomas over at the Wichita Eagle has a piece on why some photographers should spend a little extra time and money to register photos with the US Copyright Office, even though photographers own the copyright to photos the moment they’re created:

“I usually equate copyright registration to an approximate $35 insurance policy,” said [attorney] Tammy Browning-Smith […] “Should something go wrong and someone takes your work, it allows you to be able to collect attorney’s fees, enhanced damages and the like.”

Registering a copyright is “painless and quick,” Browning-Smith said. To do it, go to the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov and fill out the form. It costs $35 for online registration of a basic claim and $65 to register a group of photographs. It takes up to 2½ months to get an application processed, according to the agency’s website […]

“If you register before any kind of infringement, you get access to the federal courts, but you also get access to statutory damages,” [law professor Andrew] Torrance said. “So instead of having to prove you’ve suffered actual damages, like for example the cost of the photographer, with statutory damages you just need to convince the court that you’re on the high end of the damages and you can get a tremendous amount of money.”

Personal pictures become fodder for legal fights in digital age [The Wichita Eagle]


Thanks for sending in the tip, Chris!


Image credit: Copyright Office Hearing Room by naypinya

A Collection of Free Sample Legal Forms for Photographers

If you’re looking to make money from your photography, it’s important to have the correct legal forms signed by the correct people, whether it’s releases by models that pose for you or contracts with gallery owners who will sell your work. To get you started in figuring out what your contract needs to say, legal contract service Docracy offers samples of some of the most common and important legal forms that photographers use.
Read more…

Pursuing Copyright Infringement is Now Cheaper and Easier for UK Photogs

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

Canadian Photogs Now Officially Own the Copyright to All of Their Photos

A big win for photographers in Canada: as of today, you now officially own the copyright to all your photographs regardless of whether they were commissioned. The development comes as a result of Canada major copyright reform bill (Bill C-11) taking effect this morning. One of the stated goals of the new copyright law is to, “give photographers the same rights as other creators.”
Read more…