In early 2017, Kodak introduced its on-demand photography service Kodakit. While it may have sounded like a good idea, it turns out that the service is not on photographers’ side at all. All participating photographers are asked to give up all copyrights to the photos they take. The photo assignment agency also requires them to give up the moral rights and assume all legal risks of their assignments. And as if that weren’t enough: there’s also the possibility that photographers might not get paid if clients don’t like the photos.
You know what Google news results look like when the page doesn’t load properly? If EU Copyright Directive Article 11 and 13 pass, all Google news results could look like this: with blank image thumbnails and without short snippets of text.
After Bruno Mars, Gigi Hadid and Rod Stewart, Jennifer Lopez is also being sued for allegedly using someone else’s photo without permission. After the pop star posted a photo of herself to Instagram, photographer Michael Stewart filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, which could earn him up to $150,000 if he wins.
Back in June 2017, a photo of Donald Trump crashing a wedding at his golf course resort went viral. Jonathan Otto took the photo, shared it with a wedding guest, and it quickly got all over the internet – and ended up in the media. After Otto found it out, he filed a lawsuit. And recently, the court ruled that media using a snapshot from someone’s social network doesn’t constitute a fair use.
If the real world worked like the online-photography world of stolen photos posted to websites and ads:
Why is everyone so mad? I never said it was MY car. And I didn’t know it was wrong. I mean, I saw a car that I really wished my car looked like, and it was unlocked and the keys happened to be inside and so I just used it to run errands and go to work and drive around town. And when people said, “Hey, I love that car!” I said “Thank you,” because I love it, too.
It’s not always easy to determine what falls under fair use of images. But if you ask for a permission to use a photo and get rejected, it’s pretty clear what you should (not) do, right? Still, sometimes people don’t realize that “no” means “no,” and they decide to use the photo after all. This is what Fox News did on 26 October when reporting about bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc.
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.