Back in January, Canon Italia posted a photo without credit (and shot on a Fuji) on their Instagram and Facebook. The response from the community was fierce, and Canon’s response only made things worse. Now Elia Locardi, the photographer behind the original photo, has decided to take the case to court.
To remind you, Canon Italia shared a composite in which the sky is taken from Locardi’s photo. It also ended up on the Instagram page of Canon Spain. After the reactions from the photographer and the community, Canon confirmed they took the photo from Unsplash. But, they denied that the photo was stolen. The problem here is that someone else posted the photo under CC0 and EXIF data showed that it was shot on a Canon 1D Mark IV. Anyhow, since the photo is still on Canon’s Instagram and Facebook, Elia Locardi has taken the case to court.
As FStoppers reports, on 22 January, Elia Locardi sent a Cease and Desist letter to Canon Italia, which should prohibit them to use Locardi’s photo in any way. Canon didn’t submit the declaration to cease and desist within the given deadline, so Locardi’s lawyers file for an injunction in court.
FStoppers further writes that The District Court of Berlin issued an injunction on 1 February. In this injunction, Canon Italia is banned from using Locardi’s photo “Photographing The World 2 – Lesson 6 – Italy – Vatican View” in parts or as a whole. In case of offending this injunction, Canon will be required to pay a €250,000 fine (nearly $305,000) Alternatively, the Managing Director could face up to 6 months in prison.
Reportedly, Canon office in Germany refused to accept the injunction letter, as it was pertaining to Canon Italia. Consequently, PhotoClaim delivered the letter to Canon Italia in person. Today, on 1 March 2018, the photo is still online on Canon Italia and Canon Spain social media accounts.
I would like to see how this whole case will end. Personally, I don’t think Canon is that much to blame for initially posting the photo. They took it from Unsplash, where all the images are copyright-free, so they didn’t need to credit the photographer (although it would be nice). The problem here is with Greg Paul Miller, who took the sky from Locardi’s photo and posted it as his own. Although, he seems to have ended up unharmed in this situation.
On the other hand, Canon denied that the elements of the photo were stolen, and refused to take the image down. I guess it would be fair to just admit their mistake and remove the photo. If nothing else, it would be easier for them and probably spare them from dealing with the court.
[via FStoppers; lead image credits Elia Locardi]