Libertarian magazine Reason created this video about the erosion of photographers’ rights in the United States. One of the cases highlighted is the one involving Antonio Musumeci, who was arrested for filming a government building and came out victorious in a lawsuit with the help of the NYCLU.
In November 2010, Talking Points Memo published an article that included a wire photo taken on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. Yesterday they received a cease and desist letter from the NYSE claiming that photos of the trading floor cannot be displayed without the NYSE’s permission, and that it owns trademark rights to images of the floor:
NYSE has common law and Federal trademark rights in and to NYSE’s name and images of the Trading Floor [...] NYSE owns Federal tradmark rights in one depiction of the Trading Floor and common law rights in the Trading Floor viewed from virtually any angle [...] Accordingly, NYSE has the right to prevent unauthorized use of its Trademarks and reference to NYSE by others. [#]
You can read the two page C&D letter here. What are your thoughts on this?
After Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, a woman named Stefanie Gordon snapped a photograph of it from her Delta airlines seat using her iPhone, sharing it with friends and family through TwitPic. Though it quickly went viral, and was shared all over the media, Gordon was only paid by five media organizations for licensing rights to the photo. The Red Tape blog over on MSNBC wrote a great post a couple days ago bringing the issue of copyright infringement to the public’s attention:
In a world where social media users, bloggers and even some professional journalists are increasingly comfortable simply copying the work of others and republishing it, can intellectual property rights survive? Can original content survive? And what should the world do when an amateur photographer takes a newsworthy photo and shares it on a social network?
We didn’t share Gordon’s photo here on PetaPixel because we never got her permission to do so (she never responded to our requests). Luckily for us, NASA just published this awesome (non-copyrighted) photograph of the launch that you can freely share and republish.
Since launching in 2008, TwitPic has been at the center of quite a few copyright controversies and legal battles, especially when disasters strike and Twitter users are able to publish photos of things that are happening well before major news outlets. Back in early 2010 photographer Daniel Morel had an iconic photograph taken during the Haiti earthquake widely republished in newspapers across the world without his permission after he uploaded the photos to TwitPic, then later that year Twitter’s decision to display TwitPic photos directly on their website caused a brouhaha. TwitPic has finally decided to update their Terms of Service to make it clear that users of the service retain the copyright of everything they upload. Read more…
New Jersey is considering a new law that would make it a third-degree crime to photograph children without parental consent. More specifically, bill A3297 would prevent people from shooting photos or videos of children when “a reasonable parent or guardian would not expect his child to be the subject of such reproduction”. Apparently the bill was proposed after a 63-year-old pedophile was caught recording young children at a swimming pool last summer, but was released because he hadn’t committed any serious crime. In New Jersey, third-degree crimes carry potential punishments of 3-5 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
It’s too bad bad a few bad apples always seem to ruin things for legitimate photographers.
DreamWorks won’t be making a movie about the death of Kodachrome film after all — Fox will. Turns out the director of the movie, Shawn Levy, had a first look deal with Fox that gives the film studio first dibs on Levy’s projects.
It was the result of an honest error [...] producers initially brought the pitch to Fox 2000, which passed. Believing that represented due diligence under Levy’s Fox pact, producers next went to DreamWorks, which went for it (though sources say no money changed hands).
But 20th Century Fox caught wind of the deal, decided it ultimately liked the project and, citing its deal with Levy, yanked it back onto its development slate, where it stands today. [#]
The film is rumored to be about a father and son who take a road trip to process their final Kodachrome rolls before development ends.
Last week a United Airlines flight out of Denver International Airport was returned to the gate after being ready for takeoff when a passenger noticed “suspicious behavior” and notified a flight attendant. The plane was evacuated and swept for suspicious devices, the suspicious passengers were taken and questioned, and the flight was delayed by 2.5 hours. Now it’s believed that the passengers were simply taking pictures during taxiing, though the fact that two of the picture takers were of Middle Eastern descent likely had something to do with the “suspiciousness”.
Alberto Korda‘s iconic photo of Che Guevara, titled “Guerrillero Heroico“, is constantly at the center of copyright battles, with Koda’s daughter Diana Díaz even licensing the image for branded products in order to fund the legal fights. The latest case involves a London gift company, takkoda, which recently began selling products featuring a dog Photoshopped to look like Che in Korda’s photo. The designers insist that there was no copyright infringement but, rather than risking a prolonged legal battle, the gift company decided to settle out of court. Though the amount of the settlement was not made known, it’s estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
As newspapers struggle to survive in this new digital media world, an Arkansas-based collector named John Rogers has quietly built the world’s largest privately owned collection of photographs by paying huge sums of money for their photo archives. He currently has about 35 million photographs purchased from newspapers including The Chicago Sun Times, The St. Petersburg Times, and The Denver Post. Of these images, he owns or shares the copyright to about 25 million.
Part of the deal in each acquisition is that Rogers’ company digitizes and meticulously organizes the images, making the digital versions available to the newspapers. Apparently his phone is “ringing off the hook” from newspapers eager to have him purchase and digitize their archives.