Posts Tagged ‘legal’

Photographer Behind Iconic Football Pic Sues Player for Copyright Infringement

heismann

This famous photograph of legendary football wide receiver Desmond Howard is currently in the midst of a nasty legal battle. The photographer behind the image, Brian Masck, is suing Howard and a host of companies, claiming that his photo has been used without his permission for years for all kinds of commercial products and purposes.
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Is There a ‘Constitution-Free’ Zone Where Cameras Can Be Seized Without Cause?

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The ACLU writes that there’s a 100-mile-thick buffer around the borders of the US called “The Constitution-Free Zone,” in which electronic devices (e.g. laptops and cameras) can be searched and seized without suspicion. Wired writes that a man’s laptop was seized in this zone in 2010 and returned 11 days later:

At an Amtrak inspection point, Pascal Abidor showed his U.S. passport to a federal agent. He was ordered to move to the cafe car, where they removed his laptop from his luggage and “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” according to the lawsuit.

Agents asked him about pictures they found on his laptop, which included Hamas and Hezbollah rallies. He explained that he was earning a doctoral degree at a Canadian university on the topic of the modern history of Shiites in Lebanon.

This zone made quite a few headlines early last month. Scott Bomboy of the National Constitution Center looked into this issue, and concludes that the ACLU’s argument is confusing at best.

(via Mint Press News)


Thanks for sending in the tip, Geoffrey!

Justice Department Affirms the Right to Photograph Police in Public

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

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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.
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Instagram Trying to Have Policy Change Class Action Lawsuit Thrown Out

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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.
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Teen Arrested for Bullying Others Using Hurtful Instagram Photos

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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.
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Judge Rules News Agencies Cannot Use Twitter Photos Without Permission

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

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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.
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