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Twitter Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

Judge Rules Twitter Images Cannot Be Used Commercially 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the sharing-is-not-legally-caring dept.
New submitter trekkie314 writes "Reuters reports that a Manhattan District Judge has ruled that AFP and the Washington Post infringed a photographer's copyright by re-using photos he posted on his Twitter account. The judge rejected AFP's claim that a Twitter post was equivalent to making the images available for anyone to use (drawing a distinction between allowing users to re-tweet within the social network and the commercial use of content). The judge also ruled against the photographer's request that he be compensated for each person that viewed the photos, ruling instead that damages would be granted once per infringing image only. This last point might have interesting implications in file-sharing cases — can it set a precedent against massive judgments against peer-to-peer file-sharers?"
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Judge Rules Twitter Images Cannot Be Used Commercially

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  • Perpetual license (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:35PM (#42597969)

    The judge also ruled against the photographer's request that he be compensated for each person that viewed the photos, ruling instead that damages would be granted once per infringing image only.

    Once damages are granted for an image, would this ruling indicate that the defendant would be able to continue infringement without ever paying again?

  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:38PM (#42598011)
    It's a bit ambiguous: does "once per infringing image" mean
    -- "once per image infringed", so that Agence-Presse-Francais and the Washington Post would only pay half of the cost each per each image infringed
    -- "once per infringing use [posting or publishing, not per view] of image", so that whatever the "use cost" of the image is, the Post would have to pay full use cost, and AFP would also have to pay full use cost.

    .
    I can actually see the point and usefulness of "per view" of image, because I would guess that the contractual or negotiated "use cost" of the image would be different for different uses:

    -- smaller payment for a small magazine with low distribution and readers
    -- larger payment for a large magazine with large distribution and lots of readers
    -- even larger payment for exclusive publication rights (which helps magazines sell even more copies, and also helps tabloid newspapers with paparazzi photos)
    -- some other negotiated fee for web usage, with a sliding scale for number of impressions / views / click throughs.

    So it would make sense that a web site that copied it and had a lot of page views of the image ought to pay more for infringing it than a web site that didn't. Unless of course, you bring in "statutory damages" which will not require bringing in any proof of dollar loss, merely prroof of copyright infringement.
    Etrange. Tres etrange.

  • by sconeu (64226) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:57PM (#42598651) Homepage Journal

    Aren't AFP the guys who want Google to pay them for just LINKING to their content?

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