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Short Exposures

Monkey see…Tablet snappers banned…New Nikon full-frame ‘action’ DSLR?…Getty guilty

Monkey see…
As reported more fully in Pro Counter, a photographer is battling Wikimedia over copyright to a selfie taken by a monkey with his (the photographer’s) camera.

A media law expert (right) opines on CNN regarding the gripping monkey selfie copyright issue
A media law expert (right) opines on CNN regarding the gripping monkey selfie copyright issue.

British wildlife photographer, David Slater, sent Wikmedia a take-down request as he believes that he owns the copyright – being the one who went to photograph the Macaques in 2011.

He told the Today Show that ‘the monkey was my assistant’, even though the monkey was not hired, paid, or directed to take the picture. Wikimedia has credited the photo as a ‘self-portrait by the depicted Macaca Nigra female’.

Having failed to reach a resolution with Wikimedia, it looks like legal action will follow and a judge will make a decision as to whether he owns the images.

David Slater told Pro Counter that ‘the creative input and origin of the monkey taking the shots is with me’, and he fails to see how these shots differ to trail cams with triggers, trip wires, and IR beams. He said that many more photographers are at risk of losing the licensing of images to Wikimedia in these circumstances if he does not fight the (not-for-profit) media giant.

So Pro Counter then asked to use said images to further publicise his noble fight. That will be 20 quid, we were told.

Tablet snappers banned
Manchester United has banned fans from bringing iPads and other tablet devices to Old Trafford, its 75,000 capacity stadium. Too many fans obstructing the views of those around them, presumably. Or perhaps it simply offends the Mancunian sense of cool.

The Manchester Evening News reported the memo, sent via email, warned fans that any electronic devices larger than a 10x15cm are now banned from the stadium. It’s always great to see people out taking pictures – but what a good idea!

New Nikon full-frame ‘action’ DSLR?
Latest from the camera rumour mill is that Nikon will announce a new full-frame DSLR at Photokina which will be as a camera for high speed action  shots and video. So the new camera will not replace the D610 but sit between the D610 and the D810.

Maybe with a 51-point AF system, maybe with a faster burst rate. Maybe not…

Getty guilty

Daniel Morel. (Source, 2011 World Press Photo interview.)
Daniel Morel. (Source, 2011 World Press Photo interview.)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York this week upheld the jury’s verdict that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images (US) Inc. must pay US$1.22 million for willfully infringing photojournalist Daniel Morel’s copyright in his award-winning images of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The case has been running since 2010, with the stock agency and AFP fighting Morel every step of the way, initially filing a counter suite against the freelance photographer. Click here for a full report.

In the decision, the court rejected the defendants’ argument that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that they acted willfully when they wrongfully misappropriated and transmitted Mr Morel’s photographs to over 1000 of their subscribers and licensees. The court also left intact the jury’s award of the maximum statutory damages available under the Copyright Act.

The Court held: ‘There was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that defendants’ infringement (and particularly AFP’s) was not just willful but reflected a gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders.’

After learning of the decision, Mr Morel said, ‘I am grateful that Judge Nathan recognises the value of a photojournalist’s work and that she is holding AFP and Getty Images fully responsible for what they did to me. I hope no other photojournalist will have to go through a similar ordeal.’

Getty Images and Agence France Presse were seeking to reduce the statutory damages to a total of $200,000. They were also hot with $400,000 in fines.

As this is one of the first cases addressing images being published on social media and then being used by third parties for commercial use, it is likely the two agencies have continued to fight Morel to set a favourable precedent for themselves.








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