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Author Topic: Federal Court Rules No Infringement  (Read 3419 times)

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RacePhoto

« on: March 19, 2013, 11:43 »
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There isn't a section for discussing "Legal Questions" I hope this is the right place?

http://www.petapixel.com/2013/01/25/boston-court-rules-no-infringement-in-the-case-of-two-very-similar-photographs/

Two similar photos, but even I don't see how you could say it's infringing. I suspect part of the claim is the guy was suing Sony. Deep pockets, lets take a try at it?  :)

Lets say, "girl with headset" was the subject? Or maybe, "Business Handshake" see where the decision came from. Too ordinary to say, it was a copy?

Quote
Copyright law is in place to protect artistic expression, not individual ideas. That was the crux of the reasoning behind a recent federal appeals court ruling that saw no infringement on the part of Sony. In the courts opinion, Sonys photo (right) was not nearly similar enough to Donald Harneys (left) and no reasonable jury could find substantial similarity between Sonys recreated photo and Harneys original.



EmberMike

« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 11:54 »
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I think his case (and his argument) was that Sony admittedly copied the original photo. They set out to do so, fully intending on their photo being a reasonably similar image compared to the original. It wasn't a photo that just coincidentally happened to look like the original, as countless other photos probably do as well. Surely there are tons of photos of girls on their father's shoulders. Nothing about the original was particularly unique. But that Sony set out to deliberately copy the original photo probably gave the guy cause to pursue a legal case.

In the end, though, it's still wrong to protect the coincidental composition of a snapshot like this. We can't prohibit anyone from ever publishing a photo of a girl in a pink coat sitting on her dad's shoulders just because this one guy took this sort of famous snapshot of that same common scene.

RacePhoto makes a good point. Imagine someone could legally claim ownership of the idea of "girl with headset". It would certainly reduce the number of images that stock companies have in their collections.

RacePhoto

« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 13:43 »
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I think that's the problem. Being similar is one point, and even if Sony copied? The fact is, the image is so generic that it gets a pass.

Kind of surprised after the Red Bus in London. I guess it depends.  :o


w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 16:21 »
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Race, that's the difference between U.S. law and U.K. law.  At least a difference of opinion between U.S. judges and U.K. judges.  The U.K. judge ruled that similar images of red buses are a no-no, but the U.S. judge said similar images of girls riding on someone's shoulders are fine.

Makes me wonder about reviewers.  If one were in the U.S. and another in the U.K. (or any other country for that matter) would their country's laws on copyright effect the way they judged an image for commercial use?  ie an image accepted by one reviewer could be rejected by another.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 16:52 »
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Makes me wonder about reviewers.  If one were in the U.S. and another in the U.K. (or any other country for that matter) would their country's laws on copyright effect the way they judged an image for commercial use?  ie an image accepted by one reviewer could be rejected by another.

Presuming that reviewers have a clue about copyright laws - let alone specific countries' laws - seems a bit of an exaggeration to me. Rejecting in case of doubt just to be on the safe side is more consistent with what I observed at most sites.

RacePhoto

« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 12:20 »
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What, now you folks tell me. Inconsistent reviews, inconsistent laws or legal decisions, and both vary by what country!   ::)

Yes red bus is one, and the current "appropriation art" which won a few and is now being sopped. Might even matter if it's a judge or jury or what state in the US. It's a mess. There was a case where someone copied a shot, down to polka dot dress and merry go round, for an ad. They lost and paid the original artist.

Maybe not totally subjective but like reviews, and even with more training and case law, judges are still making a decision and their opinion.

I don't disagree with either of you in fact. What you can do in Canada, you can't in Italy. Where you can walk and shoot in the UK, you can't in the US. But all the government funded projects in the US are public domain, (excluding logos, humans and private parts) which some places have foundations and trusts, and even if tax dollars go to them, you can't use that material. Italy the right to public panorama is not defined, maybe not allowed. Kenya? You can be arrested for taking a photo, without even using it for anything. Lets go extreme, not too long ago, some places, people could be arrested for owning a camera!

Heritage leases a mountain in Australia and tries to prevent people from taking photos of it. (all about money not their feel good, religious arguments)

So yes, there are some big and some small differences. Big and small inconsistencies also. There are no easy answers for the whole world.

One of my favorites still is that in France someone copyrighted the yellow smiley face. Yes really. Did Florida pass that law about taking photos of farm animals on private property. Sheesh!



Makes me wonder about reviewers.  If one were in the U.S. and another in the U.K. (or any other country for that matter) would their country's laws on copyright effect the way they judged an image for commercial use?  ie an image accepted by one reviewer could be rejected by another.

Presuming that reviewers have a clue about copyright laws - let alone specific countries' laws - seems a bit of an exaggeration to me. Rejecting in case of doubt just to be on the safe side is more consistent with what I observed at most sites.

Batman

« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 17:30 »
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perfect 10 vs Google not infringing. 10 year case Google wins.

The court pointed out that Google made available to the public the new and highly beneficial function of "improving access to [pictorial] information on the Internet." This had the effect of recognizing that, "search engine technology provides an astoundingly valuable public benefit, which should not be jeopardized just because it might be used in a way that could affect somebody's sales."

Here's why, on the physical level, Google only provided an instruction for the user's computer to fetch the infringing pages from servers not under its control. Same as a spider finding photos on stock sites. There's nothing you can do to stop it. Don't put large unwateremarked pictures on the web. Google isn't hosting these just finding them.


 

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