Photojournalist Awarded Millions in Twitter Copyright Case - The UpStream

Photojournalist Awarded Millions in Twitter Copyright Case

posted Sunday Nov 24, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Photojournalist Awarded Millions in Twitter Copyright Case

Twitter is a great place to gather information. Throughout my week, I read about the top tech news and receive tips on what we should cover on the site. One of the problems with Twitter, however, is how easy it makes it for the big guys to steal content from the little guys.

For example, freelance photojournalist Daniel Morel took photos of the results of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Some of those photos he shared with the world through Twitter, probably expecting to affect people's feelings about the tragedy. What he didn't expect to have happen was for some of the big guys to see his photos and take them, add them to their collections and provide them to media outlets for distribution.

Unfortunately for Morel, his wishes would not be, as that is precisely what happened. Agence France-Presse retweeted his photos and then handed them to Getty Images, who is responsible for those photos making their way to ABC, CBS, CNN, The Washington Post and other media outlets. These media outlets quickly settled with Morel over the obvious infringement, but not the original offenders.

Those two went through a three year legal battle, ultimately resulting in a $1.2 million settlement against the willful infringers: AFP and Getty. Does this seem like a fair judgment against a company distributing photos from Twitter? Sound off in the comments.


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