Photographer wins $1.2 million in copyright case.

$1.2 million awarded to photojournalist in copyright infringement case

November 26, 2013 11:46 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In January 2010, Daniel Morel, a freelance photojournalist, uploaded photos of the earthquake in Haiti to Twitter as the story broke. Someone else claimed the Twitter images as their own, and sold them to Agence France-Presse, which also licenses photos to Getty.

Last week, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse were found by a jury to be in violation of the Copyright Act. When Morel posted the photos to Twitter, he stated that they were available for purchase. However, the two companies were found to have been in willful violation when they used the photos without permission.

In another instance of willful infringement earlier this year, clothing company DKNY was caught using copyrighted photos of Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton. DKNY had wanted to license photos from Stanton, but they did not finalize a deal. Stanton was later sent a photo of a DKNY store in Thailand using his photographs.

Instead of taking legal action for compensation, Stanton took to his popular Humans of New York Facebook page to tell his story and requested that DKNY make a donation to a Brooklyn, New York YMCA. The post received a great deal of attention, prompting a response from DKNY saying the use of the photos was an error. The company did end up making the requested donation, but not in the full amount.

These cases illustrate the importance of protecting your images from being used without your permission. Want to know more about your intellectual property rights and what you can do to protect your work? Contact a Phoenix business lawyer to find out what copyright law means for your business.

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