Does tweeting, sharing, pinning or tumblring mean that your photos aren't yours anymore? Whether you're a professional photographer or not, I'm sure you'll agree that you don't want personal photos you've taken sold to media outlets without your permission and without giving you a dime of that money.
This article written by Kathy E. Gill for MediaShift explores your rights to your photos and which sites to watch out for.
A recent U.S. court decision clarified that media organizations cannot assume that photos shared via Twitter are rights-free, to be used as though they were in the public domain.
In the case of Agence France-Presse (AFP) v. Morel, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of freelance photographer Daniel Morel. Her judgment: Both AFP and the Washington Post had infringed on Morel's copyright.
Not unlike last week, when some British news organizations published front-page photos of a helicopter crash sourced from Twitter, in January 2010 AFP lifted Morel's photos of the Haitian earthquake from Twitter/Twitpic and distributed them on its wire service.
Morel, a former AP photographer, was in his native Haiti at the time of the earthquake, January 12, 2010. He created a new Twitter account and uploaded 13 photos to Twitpic.
As Photo District News reported, after Morel realized AFP and Getty had appropriated his photos, his agent, Corbis, sent take-down notices to Getty and AFP, but it took AFP two days to issue a kill notice. Moreover, the photos had also been falsely attributed to Lisandro Suero; some of these photos can stillbe found on news sites.
AFP's argument -- that the Twitter terms of service allowed it to not only distribute his photos without permission but also distribute them through Getty Images -- was untenable.Judge Nathan wrote:
"[T]he Twitter TOS (terms of service) provides that users retain their rights to the content they post -- with the exception of the license granted to Twitter and its partners -- rebutting AFP's claim that Twitter intended to confer a license on it to sell Morel's photographs."
Clearly, the photos were powerful. Morel won the 2011 World Press Photo contest for spot news. Also in 2011, Morel settled with ABC, CNN and CBS.
Was the act -- AFP's copyright infringement -- willful? Click the read more button at the bottom right to read the rest of this article.
, by WhatJeanLikes