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Courts Ruling on Photo Usage

Discussion in 'General Photography Discussion' started by CWRailman, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    Anyone else see this? I wonder how if any it will impact how others link to and or use photo's they find on the Internet such as Picssr or Getty Images which has been sited for selling images that are in the public domain which according to this ruling may now have additional stipulations.
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    This is one of the articles about Getty selling images from the public domain. Please login or register to view links
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. vague_logic

    vague_logic Premium Member

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    Sensible confirmation of copyright law in the EU.
     
  3. AnthonyM

    AnthonyM Premium Member

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    An obviously correct decision, it is hard to see why it reached the ECJ. Perhaps there were other relevant facts not in the article.
     
  4. Richard_R

    Richard_R Eclectic eccentric Staff Member

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    In the interests of balanced and fair reporting it should be pointed out at this stage that the Photographer in question lost the case against Getty.

    Please login or register to view links
     
  5. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    She did not lose. She just did not get the big payout that she thought she was getting. The judge merely ruled that it was not a "Federal" issue hence the case which was supposed to be a trial by jury in a "District Court" was then decided in lower courts and as noted an agreement was made between the parties out of court. Unless I missed it, that Judge never filed an explanation of that decision which was probably, as so often happens in our liberal courts, based on some minor technicality. However, if the ECJ ruling stands it could impact future rulings on similar issues here in the US as there has been a lot of dissention against that ruling by US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff. As some have interpreted his ruling, it's OK for someone to take your image and charge you for using it which could put those 10,000 plus images you have on Flickr in jeopardy if Getty gets their hands on them. :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. AnthonyM

    AnthonyM Premium Member

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    The difference between the two cases seems to be that in the ECJ case the image was publicly available but that does not mean that the photographer had given up copyright.

    In the Getty case, the photographer had given to the public the right to reproduce the images in question.

    Available for the public to see does not equal public domain when it comes to copyright.
     
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  7. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    It's really all very woolly

    From the linked article:

    "The court also said it is “of little importance” if the copyright holder does not limit “the ways in which the photograph may be used by internet users.”
     
  8. AnthonyM

    AnthonyM Premium Member

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    I think the point is that the photographer retains copyright in published photos even if he/she has not specifically imposed restrictions on usage. In the Getty case, the photographer apparently gave general permission for copying, which is a different situation.
     
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  9. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    OK ^, but the whole thing still seems to lack clarity and changes from country to country.
    In South Africa those laws don't apply. If the photographer takes the pictures at the request
    of somebody else, either for payment or even *implied* payment, then the copyright belongs
    to the person requesting the photo UNLESS a specific contract is signed stating that the
    copyright remains with the photographer.
     
  10. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    She had donated her images to the Library of Congress and given permission for them to be cataloged and used distributed royalty free. However Getty, as it admitted to doing, took those images and sold them. It came to a head when Getty charged her for using her own image. Now just think for a minute how you would feel if Getty or one of those services downloaded any of your images and then charged you for using them. There are just no scruples in business these days and someone is always looking for those loop holes to make a buck and skirt the intent of laws and common decency. Of course they did rectify the issue but you have to wonder how much money they have made off of other peoples images. I think you are going to see additional rules putting more controls on such situations and strong enforcement of the same which I believe is the intent of the ECJ's ruling.

    However while this is about photographs, there are organizations that have plucked books and other documents out of the public domain and republished them for profit. The National Model Railroad Association is one that has republished books that are in the public domain and used the sales of these books for profits/fund raisers. Freight Terminals & Trains by John Droege is one that comes to mind and nowhere does it indicate that it is in the public domain and can be downloaded in PDF format free of charge.
     
  11. vague_logic

    vague_logic Premium Member

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    In the EU the copyright remains with the photographer unless they assign it by license (contract) to someone else. That assignment can be for limited use and time so the same image may be licensed to different entities for separate purposes. If someone engages and pays a photographer to take a particular picture they can, as part of the contract, own the copyright either totally or again for limited purpose and/or time.
    This is all fairly straightforward providing everything is well documented otherwise lawyers win.
     
  12. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Indeed
     
  13. AnthonyM

    AnthonyM Premium Member

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    She gave general permission to reproduce the donated images. That is stated in her statement of claim.

    Getty trying to charge her was preposterous, which is why they put it right when she complained.

    The ECJ's ruling was different, as the photographer had not given a general permission to copy.

    I am sure that many organisations abuse copyright as Getty did, and in other ways as well.
     
  14. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    Not surprising. If you give it away you no longer own it. If she had not been so generous she probably would have won her case.
    That's right, that is the key difference. If you give away your intellectual property you can no longer sue under that property that you no longer have.
     

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