Photographs Copyright

News & Analysis as of

Interesting court decisions in 2015 in the fields of IP, IT and mass communications: Dentons' takeaway - The consideration in 2015...

Among the many interesting court decisions adopted in 2015 in the areas of intellectual property rights, information technologies and mass media regulation, we have selected the top ten we view as the most notable. Presented...more

Monkey See, Monkey Sue Doesn’t Fly Under U.S. Copyright Law

In August 2014, we posted about a copyright ownership dispute involving selfie photographs. The disputed selfie photographs were taken by a monkey named Naruto in Indonesia in 2011. The photography equipment used to take...more

Why President Lincoln Put the Civil War on Hold to Extend Copyright Protection to Photographs

We’ve taken advantage of past Presidents Days to recount George Washington’s role in the history of U.S. Copyright law, specifically the birth of fair use. That role was not insubstantial, but it was posthumous and,...more

Using “Borrowed” Images in Your Blog

An engaging image, be it a photograph, line art or other graphic, can capture the reader’s attention and drive interest in an online post. Bloggers, especially, are well aware of the attention grabbing benefits of a great...more

So I Got This Letter Claiming Infringement. I Didn’t Even Know the Picture Was Copyrighted . . .

... but now the sender wants a lot of money. What should I do? Did I really stumble into a multi-thousand dollar problem just by using an image I found on the Internet? I’ve heard of patent trolls. Is this some sort of...more

Creative Commons Works: Free to License, But Not Necessarily Free to Use

Companies love to use third-party content for free. In this era of belt-tightening and slashed marketing budgets, why pay to create photos and videos for advertising and other commercial uses when compelling photos and videos...more

Unflattering Photo—A Blogger’s Paradise? - Raanan Katz v. Irina Chevaldina

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant based on an assertion of fair use of an unflattering, candid headshot photograph of plaintiff....more

Employee consent to use of personal data reliable under German law

The German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG)) has published the reasons for its two decisions about whether an employee can revoke consent given to his or her employer for public use of the employee’s image in...more

Monkeying with Copyrights: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies? A Lesson in Copyright Ownership

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a crested macaque monkey, who famously snapped a smiling selfie of himself using wildlife photographer David...more

Licensing Agent Has Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Suit - Minden Pictures, Inc. v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Addressing the issue of whether a photograph licensing agent has standing to bring an infringement suit under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision, concluding...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

Making a Monkey Out of Copyright

The Monkey Selfie Caper apparently has legs, as they say in the news business. Long legs with opposable toes. (For background, see our earlier post: Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection)...more

Do You Know Your IP Rights In Your Imagery and Other Data Products?

Two recent court cases highlight the need for businesses to carefully consider the intellectual property rights associated with building data products and services. This issue is of growing importance as companies...more

THIS IS JUST BANANAS: PETA Files Suit Over Monkey Selfie

In a prior blawg post, I discussed the strange case involving British nature photographer, David Slater, and his claims of ownership over a photo “selfie” that had been “taken” by a monkey (the “Monkey Selfie”) and were...more

A Good Rule of Thumbnail? Pay the Licensing Fee.

You hire a web designer to create a website for your business. In the background, the designer uses stock photography to beautify the page. Stock photography comprises copyrighted images—often presented in searchable online...more

No MN State Fair Photos, Pretty Please?

Well, it is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, it was a great day, perfect weather, thank you very much! Happy to see that Lulu’s Public House is going strong, she appears to have some new food items this...more

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet. The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti...more

Twitter, the DMCA and Copyright in the Age of Sharing

As social media platforms continue to find new ways to allow users to share, post, and forward nonoriginal content and users become more engaged in the practice, the platforms hosting the content and disgruntled original...more

The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

People are generally aware that a painting, photograph, sculpture or other works of art are subject to copyright protection but many are less aware that copyright has many layers of possible protection which can present legal...more

A Plea to Interactive Websites: Check Your Copyright Agent Designations or Prepare to Face Liability for Your Users' Content

On June 30, 2015, a New York court provided a good excuse for anyone with an interactive website to double-check that its copyright agent designations with the U.S. Copyright Office are complete and accurate. Don’t know what...more

What do you mean I can't display the picture I bought? Photographs and Copyrights

So you have a photograph which you purchased some years ago of a beautiful early morning harbor view. This photo would be perfect as a wall display in your commercial real estate office on the waterfront. You have an...more

In re DMCA Subpoena to eBay Inc. - USDC, S.D. California, June 5, 2015

Subpoena issued to eBay pursuant to DMCA, seeking to identify alleged infringers, is deemed valid under express statutory language despite eBay’s pre-subpoena removal of allegedly infringing material in response to related...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - June 2015

ADVERTISING - UK: Tweaks to rules on sales promotions and competitions - The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has introduced changes to the provisions of its advertising code which deal with the running of...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

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