Perhaps you remember the case from earlier this year, when Netflix was accused of using a storm image without permission for its hit show Stranger Things. Photographer Sean R. Heavey took the photo, and he is now filing a lawsuit against Netflix for copyright infringement.
We’ve seen celebrities getting sued (and banned from Instagram) for copyright infringement. After Bruno Mars, Brian May, and Gigi Hadid, now it happened to Sir Rod Stewart. Only this time, the legendary singer is being sued for using a photo as a gig backdrop, and not for posting it to Instagram. And the weird thing is: the photographer who filed the lawsuit didn’t even take the photo.
A few days ago, I awoke to a text message from a friend who lives halfway around the world telling me that he had unexpectedly seen one of my images on a Fox News story. The image was from a photoshoot that I had done of Richard “Old Man” Harrison from the television show Pawn Stars which airs on the History Channel. However, after looking it up and seeing what photo he was talking about, I was surprised. The photo I was met with wasn’t even one I remembered taking.
If you see a photo freely available online and want to reuse it – you have to ask the photographer for the permission. Some would say this is a common knowledge, right? But the European Court of Justice has recently made this a ruling after a case of copyright infringement. And it all started as a high school student’s presentation.
The U.S. Postal Service has recently been ordered to pay $3.5M for a pretty strange case of copyright infringement. They have mistakenly used a photo of the wrong Statue of Liberty on a stamp. Instead of using a photo of the original statue, the U.S. Post used a photo of Robert Davidson’s Las Vegas replica, which resulted in a lawsuit.
Singapore photographer and Sony Ambassador Daryl Aiden Yow was recently busted for sharing stock photos and other people’s work as his own. Yow is particularly popular on Instagram, with 104K followers at the moment of writing this and plenty of gorgeous photos. But as it was revealed that the photos aren’t his, the story went viral and even Sony responded to it.
In the era of the internet, it’s not at all uncommon to find your photos used by someone else without your permission. This happened to Edward Kelly of Marlton, New Jersey, who found his selfie used in an ad. On Pornhub. To make things even worse, it seems that the ad has been on the largest pornography website for at least six years. So, when discovering this, Kelly decided to file a lawsuit against Pornhub, seeking more than $3 million in damages and compensation for the use of his photo.
In the face of breaking news, smartphones have made everyone a frontline reporter, and social media has allowed users to become self-publishers. However, with a rare exceptions, most news content still relies on traditional media for mass distribution. Junior producers at large news gathering organizations often attempt to obtain licensing rights directly from individuals via social media for photo and video that might not be available through wire services like AP, Reuters and AFP.
Over the weekend, Ellicott City, Maryland was pummeled by massive rainfall, which triggered devastating flash floods through the historic district of town. Resident Max Robinson was trapped in an apartment building near Main St and Maryland Ave when he started documenting what transpired on Twitter.