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Author Topic: Getty Images Sued Yet Again For Trying To License Public Domain Images  (Read 1462 times)

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 08:04 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 08:33 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

With this kinda logic, I can buy a movie, add some of my own shots and resell it as my own work?

« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 08:52 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...
I think its not unknown outside this industry...people like "wordsworth classics" publish out of copyright works from the likes of Dickens. Reading Pickwick Papers at the moment ;-).

« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 09:37 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

With this kinda logic, I can buy a movie, add some of my own shots and resell it as my own work?

If it is in the public domain, or I believe it is 20 years for expired copyrighted works, then yes.

Part of the reasons you have 'oldie' radio stations, because I believe it is after 20 years, then don't have to pay royalties to the artists.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 10:42 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

With this kinda logic, I can buy a movie, add some of my own shots and resell it as my own work?

If it is in the public domain, or I believe it is 20 years for expired copyrighted works, then yes.

Part of the reasons you have 'oldie' radio stations, because I believe it is after 20 years, then don't have to pay royalties to the artists.

It's not 20 years, but what's the difference if the facts don't count? The shows never renewed the copyrights, or never bothered to secure a copyright, so they expired, and now back to the important parts that relate to us.

Let me start with this is about the USA not someplace else.

Yes, anything public domain can be republished, on the web or in print, the right to copy a work (get it?)  ;) was originally intended to protect authors and publishers, or they would come out with something new and someone with a printing press, could set the type and print their own. Copyright came about because of technology, and granted an author or artist, a limited monopoly to publish their work.

The lawsuit in the first link: Here's the thing, though: ...you can still sell public domain images. You can do whatever you want with them. Of course, you can't sue over infringement of them, but you can most certainly still sell them. I do and others do. People use parts of NASA images in their works. The NASA images are unprotected, but our new creation might be. (not going there...)

Otherwise there are lawyers, groups and other who are pushing that selling a Public Domain (from here on PD) image, since we are talking Getty and our own, is fraud. The opposition wants to say, that claiming a Copyright to a PD images is fraud, because we are stating to a potential buyer that we own, or in the OP case, Getty is making a false claim.

I should add that once something goes out of copyright, it can't be protected again. Only the original time and renewal are allowed. Of course unless Disney lobbies and gets the laws changed to protect Mickey Mouse. Which caused a freeze on images going into public domain. Let me also add, USA if it was published before 1924 and copyrighted, it's now PD.

But now to the meat. If I copy a PD image, edit it and upload and license to buyers, with a copyright, and I committing fraud by claiming I own the copyright? OR am I simply licensing an image that anyone can get free? Also lets say I scanned and edited that image and "made substantial alterations", then I do have a new work and I can license that work.

I think this is why Shutterstock doesn't take found images, PD or anything that's not our own, original work. Yes we can upload old family photos Etc. with a release, but that's going off the point again. There are exceptions.

Here's one of the proposals, and I'll say in advance, I don't agree and I don't like the direction it takes. But life and times change. These are summary excerpts, the full PDF I'll link at the end. University of Georgia School of Law

1) ...breach of warranty and failure of consideration and examines precedent authorizing a licensee to recover royalties paid for the use of expression later found to be in the public domain.

2) ...restitutionary arguments based on unjust enrichment and mistaken payment principles.

3) argues that common-law fraud causes of action should be applicable to false copyright claims made deliberately or recklessly.

4) demonstrates that various consumer protection statutes expressly incorporating FTC false advertising principles provide very promising protection for the public domain.

This is where the latest Getty suit is making claims on similar grounds. The whole RICO claim was funny. (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.)

I find the legal views of the lawsuit and the school of law, very threatening to free use or any compilations or creative manipulations of PD works. The suit also has some ridiculous claims that because every page of the Getty website says Copyright, there's some false claim there as well. This will be very interesting, but I suspect claiming fraud or FTC impropriety or RICO conspiracy will fall flat.

Note: it's a class action lawsuit where only the lawyers make money or recover anything of substance, most of the time.

Well that was fun. Happy reading if you so choose:  https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1341&context=fac_artchop

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 10:55 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

With this kinda logic, I can buy a movie, add some of my own shots and resell it as my own work?

If it is in the public domain, or I believe it is 20 years for expired copyrighted works, then yes.

Part of the reasons you have 'oldie' radio stations, because I believe it is after 20 years, then don't have to pay royalties to the artists.

Hmmm. I was going to contradict you and sat it's the author's death plus 70 years, but that's different in different countries, e.g. France.

However, I googled to check whether it's 70 or 75 and found two totally different bits of info on apparently authoritative websites. One claimed the Berne Convention says specifically photos and applied art go out of copyright in 25 years, which presumably is what you were thinking about. The other was specifically UK and said 70 years after the author's death for photos (etc). My internet is down and I don't want to use up my phone's 4G allowance on this, but it's worth quadruple checking the info for the author's country if you ever want to do this.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 12:38 »
0
Yeah, unfortunately - they are allowed to do that...

When amazon first started becoming *really* popular (about 10/15 years ago) - a bunch of "internet marketers" popped up "reselling" books claiming to be a "new publisher"...

So they went to the gutenberg press (holding of public domain works) - downloaded tens of thousands of books, slapped their name on it as a "publisher", made 1-2 "edits" (i.e., commentary/intro etc on the book so they could claim it as a "new" book) - and essentially profited off of thousands and thousands of other people's hard work...

With this kinda logic, I can buy a movie, add some of my own shots and resell it as my own work?

If it is in the public domain, or I believe it is 20 years for expired copyrighted works, then yes.

Part of the reasons you have 'oldie' radio stations, because I believe it is after 20 years, then don't have to pay royalties to the artists.

Hmmm. I was going to contradict you and sat it's the author's death plus 70 years, but that's different in different countries, e.g. France.

However, I googled to check whether it's 70 or 75 and found two totally different bits of info on apparently authoritative websites. One claimed the Berne Convention says specifically photos and applied art go out of copyright in 25 years, which presumably is what you were thinking about. The other was specifically UK and said 70 years after the author's death for photos (etc). My internet is down and I don't want to use up my phone's 4G allowance on this, but it's worth quadruple checking the info for the author's country if you ever want to do this.

Oh so you are taking on Mission Impossible" trying to find easy answers? LOL  :)

This is still the best, for the US, (always have to include that and Getty is in the US) and they have been updating when there are changes.

https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain  Bookmark it, print it, read it. Public Domain US, simplified chart, according to Cornell University law Dept.

Whether I like or dislike Getty or think they are acting in poor faith, the law is the law. The class action suit is trying to say that claiming copyright to a PD image is underhanded and unethical and Getty is taking advantage of people. Maybe so, but it's not illegal? Also someone who wants to argue that Getty is charging high prices, maybe hundreds of dollars, for PD images, is irrelevant. If I charge $1 am I less likely to be breaking the law, because my price is lower?

If Getty loses, then all of us that use anything PD for a work we license, will be forced to pull those works, and the interpretation of the laws will change. Not only that, decisions are only for the court where they were ruled, in other words, this could be appealed to state, then district and then the Supreme court.

Laws don't change based on one judges decision on one case.

ps sound recordings are different from photo. Sound Recordings Published in the United States, before 1924 public domain: after 1923, 100 years from date of publication. 1947 to 1956 110 years. Old radio shows, very complicated, but Published without notice, and without subsequent registration, PD. However if the contents of that show was copyrighted that is protected.

Most of the shows and movies you see on the dollar disks or did for years, VHS tapes Etc. were either unprotected or never renewed. Public Domain. And going back to the arguments against Getty, how could someone sell those, if they were public domain, and claim their version was copyrighted? This is not as easy as, someone just tried to license a photo, that's out of copyright and claims they own rights. This has been going on for much longer.

« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 12:54 »
0

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 17:05 »
0
For the UK you can find good info here https://www.dacs.org.uk/knowledge-base/frequently-asked-questions#FAQ145

Oh thanks I need to add that to my Photography Legal Bookmarks.

« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 18:09 »
0
You guys do realize that article was published on April 1st?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2019, 09:21 »
0
You guys do realize that article was published on April 1st?

Well that would be a good one, but if you follow the links, why is the document showing an Alamy demand for money from December 2015?

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/404136234/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-2BEWJYyA6xCFvDz4UlsL&show_recommendations=true

Good spot though!  :)


 

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