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.
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.
If you’re a photographer and share your work on Instagram and other social networks, chances are someone will contact you to ask for a use of your photo. And when this happens, make sure to always read the fine print. Otherwise, you may give someone an unlimited usage of your work without being aware of it.
Last year, photographer Justin Goldman filed a lawsuit against several publications that featured someone’s embedded tweet with his copyrighted photo. The court ruled that this was, indeed, copyright infringement, so Goldman won the case. Now, he is looking to extend his victory and he is going for a few more news sites and blogs.
Madison Dube, a photographer working with Prince during the final years of his life, has filed a lawsuit against the late singer’s estate. She claims that the estate been using her work without a license. Therefore, she is suing the estate along with its “associated companies” for copyright infringement.
After Dr. Mitchell Pohl took photos of his patient’s teeth to showcase his work, he found his photo used without permission on several different websites. He filed a lawsuit, but Florida District Court ruled that his photos weren’t protectable by copyright laws because they lacked “creative spark.” But fortunately, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. It ruled that “before/after” photos of teeth fall under copyright protection after all.
After posting a paparazzi photo of herself to Instagram Story, model and actress Emily Ratajkowski is being sued for $150,000. Photographer Robert O’Neil has filed a lawsuit against her, citing copyright infringement. He’s reportedly requesting damages, but also to be reimbursed for any profits Ratajkowski gained from sharing this photo.
Many photographers argue that Unsplash is a disaster for the industry. But it seems that it can also be harmful to those who download and use photos from the website. Photographer, cameraman, and presenter Simon Palmer recently got into legal trouble after using a photo from Unsplash on his blog. Although the photo was from the “source of freely usable images,” Palmer got a copyright infringement notice from Copytrack requesting him to pay a license fee.
After the University of Houston used a photo by Jim Olive without permission, the photographer decided to sue. However, Texas appeals court has now ruled out that the University doesn’t have to pay the photographer for the use of his image. As a public institution, the university claims that it has sovereign immunity, so it can’t be sued.