MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Trade Dress Law Suit - IP Laws That Threaten Us - Must Read  (Read 5281 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 13, 2012, 20:14 »
0
By now I'm sure many of you on here are aware of my anti intellectual property law beliefs. In the past I'm usually "dismissed", especially when I mention that IP laws are actually very dangerous to our industry, trade dress laws in particular. I just got an email from Getty Images, who represent some of my work, warning photographers about designer furniture appearing in their photographs, even as a minor part of the image. They are now conducting a massive removal of profitable content from the Getty Images website as a result, and asking photographers to help them weed out all kinds of content featuring furniture that might become targets for new law suits. This is the result of a law suite in French courts. I'm not sure if posting the email is appropriate or not, but I figured I would let you guys know that when I say trade dress is a problem, it's not some far off opinion. It's a legal reality. We all run the risk of being sued and labeled criminals because of current IP laws.

It's important to know that these law suits are not just at the agency level, but also at the photographer level. You read that right, you can be directly sued.

Something worth thinking about the next time you think expanding IP laws is a good idea....


« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 20:35 »
0
Based on sample images Getty has made available to photographers, an image like this, could now get you or your agency sued, especially in France.

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-29970016/stock-photo-young-woman-is-on-couch-and-working-on-laptop.html

I saw some other sample images they were using in court where the use of the furniture was even more mundane. This law suit will be a big deal, because lifestyle photography is such a massive part of our business, and furniture, especially modern up to date furniture, is so commonly used by stock photographers - because that's what a lot of buyers want to see.

« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 20:52 »
0
I remember early discussions about that on the SS forum many years ago when some photographers' images got rejected because of trademarked design of a vase, doll, pattern etc.

Posters sarcastically mentioned that everything around us was created by someone before and therefore (technically) should require a property release as well.

While it sounded pretty ridiculous back then, it starts to sound much more serious now. Sad world.

« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 22:31 »
0
Ok....so where is the model supposed to lay down and check her email???

« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 23:30 »
0
I remember early discussions about that on the SS forum many years ago when some photographers' images got rejected because of trademarked design of a vase, doll, pattern etc.

Posters sarcastically mentioned that everything around us was created by someone before and therefore (technically) should require a property release as well.

While it sounded pretty ridiculous back then, it starts to sound much more serious now. Sad world.

Thank you! For YEARS I have been warning people in this industry that IP laws were our biggest threat, never being taken seriously. I don't give a crap about people passing files around on file sharing sites.

I DO care about the possibility of this entire industry going up in flames because of the IP laws photographers so ignorantly support, with zeal.

Microbius

« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 01:23 »
0
Again you are taking all IP law as one package.
You are correct that this aspect is being abused, same with patent trolls and software IP.
What needs to be looked at is what is considered transformational. I bet very few if any of these cases make it to court because the rights holders know that there's a high possibility that a judge will pretty soon say f-off and suddenly all their posturing will be for nothing. Just lawyers trying to bully people into paying up out of court. Not the laws fault, greedy lawyers fault.
But you seem to be using a case for some reform to say that all IP law should be discarded wholesale.

« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 01:50 »
0
Again you are taking all IP law as one package.
You are correct that this aspect is being abused, same with patent trolls and software IP.
What needs to be looked at is what is considered transformational. I bet very few if any of these cases make it to court because the rights holders know that there's a high possibility that a judge will pretty soon say f-off and suddenly all their posturing will be for nothing. Just lawyers trying to bully people into paying up out of court. Not the laws fault, greedy lawyers fault.
But you seem to be using a case for some reform to say that all IP law should be discarded wholesale.

Exactly - it should also be noted that laws in France are completely out of sync with the rest of the world in this area.

« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 02:47 »
0
Again you are taking all IP law as one package.
You are correct that this aspect is being abused, same with patent trolls and software IP.
What needs to be looked at is what is considered transformational. I bet very few if any of these cases make it to court because the rights holders know that there's a high possibility that a judge will pretty soon say f-off and suddenly all their posturing will be for nothing. Just lawyers trying to bully people into paying up out of court. Not the laws fault, greedy lawyers fault.
But you seem to be using a case for some reform to say that all IP law should be discarded wholesale.

I won't get into all the other industries that have problems with IP laws, but even Bill Gates has admitted that the software and technology business would have been decimated if anyone had leveraged existing IP laws during the early days of computers... so even a guy like him can see the problems it creates, even though he benefits from it much like myself.

You're transformational argument, from the viewpoint of a product manufacturer is a poor argument. Look at it from their view. We'll use Ford as an example since they forced agencies a few years ago to pull de-logo'ed Mustang cars by the thousands from being sold. Ford poured what, millions of dollars into designing the shape of the Mustang? Whatever it was, it wan't cheap. They also probably put millions of dollars into ads and getting hundreds of millions of people to instantly recognize their products shape and design. Now here you are, a photographer making money off of all that, not only refusing to pay them a dime, but also having the arrogance to say you don't even need to ask permission to use it. This is how they view it, and I guarantee you this is one of the angles they used to win their law suit.

Once more manufacturers find out about this, more suits will follow.

« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 02:51 »
0
Exactly - it should also be noted that laws in France are completely out of sync with the rest of the world in this area.

We have already had successful trade dress law suits against stock photo agencies and photographers in the US. I would also like to point out that this is an international business were in, and Getty is pulling these images all together, not just from some French version of their site. It's a wholesale removal.

What I'm worried about is precedent. Once legal precedent is set in a court, it's very hard to change.

Microbius

« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 03:00 »
0
.....
Once more manufacturers find out about this, more suits will follow.
Swap manufactures for lawyers and suits for threatening letters and you would be right.

« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 03:16 »
0
.....
Once more manufacturers find out about this, more suits will follow.
Swap manufactures for lawyers and suits for threatening letters and you would be right.

If you have any access to what Getty has posted for contributors, you'll find that they appear to be of the same opinion I have. This is very serious, serious enough they have made a special webpage to advise people about the implications this law suit has to us, not just them as an agency.

xst

« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 18:06 »
0
French court of appeal found against the stock agency, arguing that the designers' intellectual property should be protected, unless the objects were just accessories in the images sold. It wasn't not the case here, according to the court.

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140613/getty-images-fights-copyright-infringement-ruling-french-court


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
3149 Views
Last post December 01, 2009, 19:13
by travelstock
10 Replies
5285 Views
Last post April 09, 2010, 12:32
by Jonathan Ross
5 Replies
2914 Views
Last post August 28, 2012, 14:51
by ShadySue
6 Replies
4293 Views
Last post January 17, 2013, 10:42
by Elenathewise
88 Replies
22255 Views
Last post November 21, 2016, 04:55
by sharpshot

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors