Haitian photographer Daniel Morel has been awarded $1.22 million in damages after a seven-member jury in a New York Federal Court reached a unanimous verdict against Agence France-Press and Getty Images today for "willfully" infringing upon Morel's copyright in 2010.
The apparently ever-increasing lack of access to President Barack Obama by independent journalists and news organizations who cover the White House has been evolving into a wave of deep discontent over the past year. This morning the swelling wave may have crested over on Pennsylvania Avenue following the hand delivery of a media coalition protest letter to White House press secretary Jay Carney.
If the NSA happens to have been listening to photojournalists’ cell phones recently, which isn’t all that far fetched given the news of late, they could have picked up on a lot of chatter about how we haven’t had any real access to the president during the administration of Barack Obama. Oh, it started out promising; this was going to be the most transparent administration in history, they told us during the first term. But in reality, access got worse and worse as time went by – and during Obama’s second term, it’s been nonexistent.
Last August a Boston police officer aggressively confronted a man who was recording law enforcement on a public street. Tomorrow, a judge will decide whether to continue the case against a journalism student charged with illegal wiretapping for calling the Boston Police Department about the incident and recording his conversation. The judge will also decide whether to drop charges against a blogger who wrote an article supporting the student.
A major copyright reform bill that passed into a law a year ago and took effect today in Canada assures Canadian photographers that they officially own the copyright to all of their photographs, regardless of whether they were commissioned.
NPPA has been a supporter of the Free Flow of Information Act, sometimes referred to as the Federal Shield Law. It was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month on a bipartisan, 13-5 vote. If passed by Congress, the Act would be the first statute to protect journalists from being forced to identify their confidential sources in federal court. Kurt Wimmer, a lawyer who specializes in free speech and the Constitutional rights of journalists, has written an article about five myths that persistently linger regarding the Act.
Photographers are being caught in the middle of a perfect storm of technology, terrorist fears, and a World Wide Web mentality of entitlement to images. At the leading edge of this storm are the rising number of incidents of photographers being interfered with or arrested due to a climate of fear and suspicion of anyone taking pictures or recording events in public. This issue has only been exacerbated by the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras and the ability of everyone to post photos and recordings on the Internet.
In the ongoing copyright infringement case by photographer Patrick Cariou against “appropriation artist” Richard Prince, both sides have filed briefs respectively supporting and opposing the August 21, 2013 petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Cariou, appealing the April 2013, ruling in the case by a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That decision reversed and vacated a 2011 lower district court ruling involving the application of the fair use doctrine to artistic works. Cariou originally published his photographs in 2000 in a book entitled Yes, Rasta, while Prince’s work was exhibited in 2008 as Canal Zone collages.
Ever since 9/11 there’s been a heightened awareness of taking pictures or recording events in public. This issue is exacerbated by the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras and the ability of everyone to post photos and recordings to the Internet, where they may be viewed, shared and, in many cases, go viral with thousands of views.
On the eve of closing its offices due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Copyright Office released its long awaited Report on Copyright Small Claims. The report adopts many of the positions advocated by the NPPA, including a tribunal, called the Copyright Claims Board, which would hear all types of copyright infringement cases and permit all defenses, including “fair use”. The report recommended a ceiling for claims at $30,000, which is the current upper limit of statutory damages for non-willful infringement.