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Author Topic: Photographers face copyright threat after shock ruling  (Read 5209 times)
Isaac
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« on: January 25, 2012, 10:25:37 AM »
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"Photographers who compose a picture in a similar way to an existing image risk copyright infringement, lawyers have warned following the first court ruling of its kind."

HTML VERSION OF JUDGMENT
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 10:27:15 AM by Isaac » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 11:21:45 AM »
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Im not so sure the problem is the composition or even the elements but the way the bus is selectively colored red while the rest of the photo is in B&W in combination with the bus and the background. Looks more like atrademark dispute rather than copyright, but I'm not a lawyer, and even if I was, I'm not British and Brit law is bound to be different than USA, Japanese, French, etc. law.

In short: don't panic.
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Ellis Vener
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 11:26:51 AM »
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I'd have sided with the judgement; if ever there was a rip-off, the two shots show one.

Shame! get your own ideas!

Rob C
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 11:33:00 AM »
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In the report I saw (on dpreview, I think) there was mention of bad history between the two photographers involving a previous copyright dispute. From my what I read, it sounded like the ruling took that previous history into account.
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kikashi
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 03:12:18 PM »
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In the report I saw (on dpreview, I think) there was mention of bad history between the two photographers involving a previous copyright dispute. From my what I read, it sounded like the ruling took that previous history into account.
Actually, it's pretty clear from the judgment that the history was entirely disregarded. The earlier, compromised claim is mentioned only in passing; and the bona fides of neither witness was questioned. The analysis is based on the content of the images and their obvious similarities. It's an interesting read.

However, its significance shouldn't be overestimated, for at least two reasons.

First, it's very obviously a decision which turned on its particular facts: there's little law in it and a good deal of analysis of the images, their contents, their appearance (red on b&w) and the means by which they were made.

Second, it's a decision of a county court which is therefore not only not binding on any other court but shouldn't even be cited in any future argument.

Jeremy
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N Walker
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 03:46:51 PM »
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I wonder if the claimant copied someone else's idea? Where does it all start and end? Other than the colour against B&W the compositions are not remotely close. A quick search on Google reveals dozens of similar(ish) images.

AFAIK a balmy judgement.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 05:12:16 PM »
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Actually, it's pretty clear from the judgment that the history was entirely disregarded. The earlier, compromised claim is mentioned only in passing; and the bona fides of neither witness was questioned. The analysis is based on the content of the images and their obvious similarities. It's an interesting read.

However, its significance shouldn't be overestimated, for at least two reasons.

First, it's very obviously a decision which turned on its particular facts: there's little law in it and a good deal of analysis of the images, their contents, their appearance (red on b&w) and the means by which they were made.

Second, it's a decision of a county court which is therefore not only not binding on any other court but shouldn't even be cited in any future argument.

Jeremy


Thanks, obviously I read it too carelessly.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 06:05:34 PM »
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... Shame! get your own ideas!...

For better or worse, ideas and concepts are not copyrightable (at least not in the US).
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Slobodan

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famalam
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 06:12:33 PM »
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Wow, it's amazing that someone would even ADMIT to taking either of those pictures, let alone sue for having them copied.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 07:12:36 PM »
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Wow, it's amazing that someone would even ADMIT to taking either of those pictures, let alone sue for having them copied.
Maybe but it isn't their aesthetic qualities of the photos that are in question here, but their ability to make money for the people who first came up with the idea and copyrighted it.
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Ellis Vener
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gubaguba
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 08:25:10 AM »
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There was actually a case I remember years ago where a well known commercial photographer in NYC duplicated some shots from an assistants portfolio.  If I remember correctly the assistant took him to court and won.  That guys reputation in the business was ruined.  It was in all the trade magazines. So it has already happened in the States years ago, nothing new here.

Lesson learned when you copy some else's work you take the risk of ruining your future income if you get caught for as long as that copied image is out there.  The longer it is out there the more likely you will get caught.  Its just a bad business decision to do it.

I was having a conversation with a very talented friend who said a client brought him an image that the client wanted him to copy and he said no.  He explained why it was bad for both of them to do it.  He even recommended contacting the photographer who took the original.  In the end they shot something different. 
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LKaven
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 04:54:13 PM »
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This ruling in another famous case mentions sets, wardrobe, camera angle, lighting, and mood as copyrightable characteristics. 

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/news/Rihanna-Settles-Laws-3825.shtml
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 05:06:22 PM »
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The latest Rangefinder magazine has an article on the legal aspects of the issue. It is basically about the concept of "substantial similarity" and how it is defined. Worth a read and just a page long.
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Slobodan

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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 02:02:58 AM »
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so true...I wonder if that is a good thing?  I would think many artists/visionaries/creatives would have a better foot on the ground if somehow it were...but how is that unless its on paper :-) then is it still an idea or a plan of action or...errr ?
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