Twitter, Instagram and its parent company Facebook recently removed Donald Trump’s video from its platforms. The video contained photos of protests that prompted after George Floyd’s death on 25 May. One of the photos was a subject of a copyright complaint filed by the copyright holder.
Well, this is a shocker. Image sharing platform Instagram has weighed in on the whole embedding thing after a second case has arisen involving post embedding and copyright infringement. Instagram has come forward, telling Ars Technica that it does NOT grant a sublicense to anybody who includes a public Instagram post in a website via its embed feature.
The news seems to not only contradict the assertion of a New York federal judge but also most peoples interpretation of Instagram’s own terms and conditions. But the short version is that you are now required to have permission from the person who posted the image before you embed or share it on your website. Which is a pretty massive shift in attitude, considering the site’s been around for almost a decade and is only now clarifying the issue.
Photographer Matilde Gattoni has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged copyright infringement. According to the lawsuit, Microsoft used Gattoni’s photos in an article on MSN. However, she claims that the company didn’t license the photos, nor they had her permission to use them.
The past few years have made it abundantly clear that platforms hold disproportionate power in the online sphere – from Uber to Grubhub to Amazon. Online success is predicated on building both utility as well as a critical mass of users, and for that, platforms should be congratulated.
However, once we agree to the terms and conditions of the platform, we cede a tremendous amount of power and control while simultaneously becoming the product. And the balance of power is continually re-tipped in favor of the platform with opaque algorithmic changes, continuous monetization of user data, and in many cases, raw exploitation of constituents within the ecosystem.
Professional photographer, Stephanie Sinclair has had her copyright infringement case against Mashable dismissed in a New York federal court. Sinclair is not just some random photographer. She’s travelled the world exploring gender and human rights issues and had her work featured in The New York Times, Time magazine and National Geographic.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that upon posting an image of a mother and child she shot in Guatemala to her Instagram feed, Mashable contacted her about using the image in a story about female photographers and offered her $50 as payment. Sinclair declined but Mashable used the image anyway – by embedding the Instagram post. Sinclair sued for copyright infringement.
Photographers, if you register your work with the US Copyright Office, hurry up because the fees are about to increase. According to the official announcement, as of 20 March, you will pay more when you apply for copyright protection. And for some applications, the price is going to be up to six times higher than the current one.
It happens every once in a while that a celebrity gets sued for posting photos of themselves to Instagram without permission. And this time, it was supermodel Bella Hadid. The model reportedly shared a photo of herself to Instagram without the photographer’s permission, and he’s slapping her with a lawsuit in return.
The Smithsonian Institution has released an online gallery of 2.8 million images with more to come. The massive collection includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, along with nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. And the best of all is: all photos are copyright-free and available for you to download and use.
Paul Teutul Sr., the star of the famous reality TV show “American Chopper,” has been sued by a photographer whose photo he used without permission. The judge has sided with the photographer, and the court has ordered Teutul to pay $258,484.45 for copyright infringement.
About a year ago now, the final language of the EU Copyright Directive was released. Its goal was for the “harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society”. But a couple of articles contained within the directive aren’t great, have been quite controversial and could have wide-reaching effects for photographers and filmmakers beyond the obvious.
Basically, the burden for online copyright theft with the new directive basically falls upon the company hosting the content, and not the user that put it there. This shifting of burden means that entire services may disappear overnight, or you suddenly find you can’t upload content to certain platforms because they’ve just blocked your country.