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Judge Rules Images Posted On Twitter Are Not Free To Use
incrediBILL




msg:4536343
 12:46 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

[reuters.com...]
A judge has found that two news organizations improperly used images that a photojournalist had posted to Twitter in one of the first big tests of intellectual property law involving social media.

Agence France-Presse and The Washington Post infringed on the copyrights of photographer Daniel Morel in using pictures he took in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ruled.


Finally, the courts agree that posting to the internet doesn't make something public domain unless it's expressly stated to be public domain.

RETWEETING is not the same as publishing elsewhere, or using for commercial purposes.

The newspapers should've known better as they're well aware of photographer rights and image copyright issues regardless of whether it's being posted on twitter, facebook or the author's website doesn't change the ownership and copyright situation of the image itself.

More importantly, most images aren't actually posted on twitter, they are linked from twitter so posting a link to an image from twitter doesn't mean squat.

Scrapers beware ;)

 

shri




msg:4536345
 1:00 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

This bit is also important:


While Morel had requested what the court said would amount to "tens or hundreds of millions of dollars" in statutory damages based on awards for each subscriber that used the images, the judge said AFP and Getty would only be liable, at most, for a single statutory damage award per image infringed.


Should hopefully bring some sanity back into the awards that courts have been handing out.

chrisv1963




msg:4536426
 6:34 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Scrapers beware ;)


I wonder what this judge would say about Pinterest.

Edge




msg:4536539
 2:21 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

These image copyright holders have made a business model out of copyright infringement. Google "extorsion letter".

My advice, don't use any image on your website or other publication unless you created the image.

wheel




msg:4536567
 3:23 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>>>My advice, don't use any image on your website or other publication unless you created the image.

I quit using anything other than graphics I've had custom created from scratch. In addition to being liberated from any concerns (and having control of my product), it's really no more expensive.

By the time I spend $50 for a subscription somewhere and 4 hours looking for the perfect graphic, I've paid a graphic designer $40 to build exactly what I wanted the first time and it takes me about 5 minutes. Then I drop it into the site, look at it, it's not perfect, so I can go ask for a tweak.

diberry




msg:4536606
 5:16 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Should hopefully bring some sanity back into the awards that courts have been handing out.


It's not always a lack of sanity. When a judge is dealing with a defendant that clearly thinks it can do no wrong and is above the law, big punitive damages are the only way the judge can force them to rethink their ways. Maybe in this case the defense came across as more reasonable, so all the judge needed to do was make the ruling and give the plaintiff reasonable compensation for his damages.

By the time I spend $50 for a subscription somewhere and 4 hours looking for the perfect graphic, I've paid a graphic designer $40 to build exactly what I wanted the first time and it takes me about 5 minutes. Then I drop it into the site, look at it, it's not perfect, so I can go ask for a tweak.


Same here, except I just use photos and started taking my own recently. It's actually less time consuming to take a photo than it is to search for one to buy, and with smartphones you never need to miss a good photo op when you're out and about. And you no longer need to be a great photographer - today's camera, including the smartphones - make it look like you knew what you were doing.

Webwork




msg:4536611
 5:28 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Outsourcing graphic design is great until you are informed that your $40 graphic designer copied someone else's work and YOU, as the entity using or displaying that work, are now legally accountable for YOUR lack of due diligence.

Be wary of what you get on the cheap from whereever you get it. I've received graphic design work that, just by chance, "rang a bell in my head". Cheap or production designers, one lacking in basic training or basic skills OR lacking the time (production houses) or creativity to craft original work can also get you in trouble when the designer avails himself to the works of other for ~inspiration.

And, when's the last time you checked for the originality and/or rights ownership of ALL the images found on so many image (paid or otherwise "public domain") sites?

Create your own images or hire a graphic designer that has been schooled not only in graphic design tools but also in copyright and trademark law and ethics.

wheel




msg:4536619
 5:42 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, agree strongly with webwork.

I am very specific with my requirements. I have emails requiring that graphics be created from scratch, I know the designer actually draws this stuff by hand. And he's local. And I confirm it again every time I use him. Last time he gave me a design with some complicated graphics, I questioned it. He responded that it was in fact clipart he used, but it was only there temporarily until I gave approval. Once I approved of the design, the clipart was replaced with a hand drawn version.

By contrast, I have a friend who claims to have spent $50K on his 'custom' site. He wasn't happy when I pointed out one of his graphics as an example of clipart that everyone in the industry was using - I'd had a designer send me the exact image a month prior. He was led to believe the images were custom created by the offshore design company. They weren't. At best the design company had subscribed to a service and was allowed to use it - but my friend did not have the papers to prove this. And as webwork notes, that leaves him exposed to problems with the design owner.

The inspiration is another valid point. My first corporate logo was one I really liked. It combined my location and my industry in one clear graphic. Two years later, I'm looking at the letterhead of a supplier in our industry and sure enough, I'm looking at a variation of my logo. Close enough that if the tables would have been reversed, they would've received a letter from me. It wasn't identical, or even a derivative, but it was close enough for gov't work. That resulted in a new logo done by my local designer with specific directions not to get inspired by someone else's logo.

IIRC, the second logo done by the local designer was actually cheaper than the first one I had done that was ripped off.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4536637
 6:32 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Getty caught up on the wrong side in an image copyright case? Well, that's my ironymeter out of action for the next week....

celgins




msg:4536686
 11:05 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

From Webwork: Create your own images or hire a graphic designer that has been schooled not only in graphic design tools but also in copyright and trademark law and ethics.

From wheel:Yes, agree strongly with webwork. I am very specific with my requirements. I have emails requiring that graphics be created from scratch...

Are you speaking specifically about creating custom graphics (i.e. clipart, shapes, vectors)? Or, are we also talking about photos?

Getty's main cash cow seems to be stock photography. And I'm guessing most royalty-free or rights-managed stock photos used for print media and websites are purchased from companies like Getty because it is very time consuming to shoot your own photos of a family beach outing when you can just purchase stock photography.

wheel




msg:4536689
 11:21 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was talking abut graphics. I don't have any pics on my site. If I did, I wouldn't use stock photos that every visitor has one look at and realizes it's a pic from a stock photo site. I think it brands your site as mickey mouse unless one is very very careful.

And if you did want a stock photo, I'd still pay a local, probably amateur,photographer to do it. Because you're not understanding the undertones here - Getty's main cash cow is not stock photography. Getty's main cash cow is suing users of their stock photography.

Go have a look at your site from 5 years ago. Can you prove right now that you have rights to every image on that version of your site? Don't think you can't/won't be sued for not being able to prove that stuff. Worse, if your artist created custom image using elements from somewhere else, you need to be able to prove at any time that you have rights for all the underlying elements. Or again, risk getting sued. And getting sued isn't hypothetical anymore, I'm sure they have bots crawling the web looking for this stuff and suing in an automated fashion.

Me, I avoid the industry entirely.

incrediBILL




msg:4536692
 11:28 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I agree with wheel as I've hired a couple of pros that are both photographers and digital image makers to generate original content and it's often much easier to get what you want in a lot less time. Not only that, you have an invoice to prove you had it created just for you and can easily get an affidavit to verify it's an original when someone steals that image.

today's camera, including the smartphones - make it look like you knew what you were doing.


Hardly. I have $10K worth of pro lenses and flashes that can do things that smart phone online dreams of doing. Bottom line it's the photographers eye that makes a great image, not the camera or the smart phone. If you're good, any camera will work.

celgins




msg:4536701
 11:46 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't have any pics on my site. If I did, I wouldn't use stock photos that every visitor has one look at and realizes it's a pic from a stock photo site. I think it brands your site as mickey mouse unless one is very very careful.
Everyone has their own observations and opinions about stock photography and its use. Personally, I think most people are bombarded with images on the web, billboards, television ads, etc., and probably don't recognize the same models, scenes or images they may have seen previously.

And if you did want a stock photo, I'd still pay a local, probably amateur,photographer to do it.
That can be a lofty goal for some businesses. When I write an article about the top ten beach destinations for 2013, I would be hard pressed to find a photographer who lives near the coast, heads to a local beach, and snaps a shot of a family building sand castles. Why not just pay Getty or some other stock photo site $15 for an image? All the big advertising companies do it, and I don't think they're worried about being sued. And why should I if I have legally purchased an image, and have records of that purchase?

Go have a look at your site from 5 years ago. Can you prove right now that you have rights to every image on that version of your site?
As far as royalty-free and rights-managed photography is concerned, yes. I have purchased thousands of watermark-free, royalty-free and/or rights-managed photos over the years, and licensed (purchased) royalty-free photos can be used in a variety of ways, and for as long as you like. Of course, there are other rules and procedures, but using those images for web or print media is certainly valid.

Now, if someone copy/pastes one of my purchased images into Twitter, then they're in violation of my rights as a website owner (scraping), and the rights of the photographer (copyright).

wheel




msg:4536723
 1:22 am on Jan 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>>As far as royalty-free and rights-managed photography is concerned, yes. I have purchased thousands of watermark-free, royalty-free and/or rights-managed photos over the years, and licensed (purchased) royalty-free photos can be used in a variety of ways, and for as long as you like. Of course, there are other rules and procedures, but using those images for web or print media is certainly valid.

We're having a difference of opinion over your likelihood of being sued by Getty. Many here - including myself - have been threatened to be sued by these folks. It's not rare. It's commonplace. Which is why I don't use stock images of any type anymore. I suspect you think it's rare and unlikely to happen to you. And perhaps you're correct.

You're welcome to use them all you like if you think they're cheaper and easier and better for your business. But I'm telling you, if you don't have papered proof that you own the rights to every single image you've used over the last half dozen years, then you're living on borrowed time.

Worse, if you don't have papered proof from your graphic artist for any images they used, then you're on borrowed time. Even if they have reuse rights, you need papered proof of that. Or, stand to get a threat of a suit. It's no longer a hypothetical.

You'll only have to go digging through receipts from 5 years ago once to defend against an unwarrated threat of a lawsuit before you get with the program and refuse to give these people another dime. That'll waste an entire morning of your day, just because these companies automate their lawsuits.

And if you think people don't notice the use of stock photography, see this, Dell and Gateway use the same person:
[engadget.com...]

diberry




msg:4536862
 4:19 pm on Jan 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hardly. I have $10K worth of pro lenses and flashes that can do things that smart phone online dreams of doing. Bottom line it's the photographers eye that makes a great image, not the camera or the smart phone. If you're good, any camera will work.


True. I'm just saying you no longer need to spend years developing photography skills to take pictures for a website that are as good as or better than the stock photos you could buy.

gregorysmith




msg:4539943
 5:51 pm on Jan 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Would be nice if everyone followed rules...

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