Our last major shoot of 2013 could not have been more pleasurable. Four days on tour on the west coast of Newfoundland with the brilliant musicians and crew of Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and vocalist Eleanor McCain for the Christmas Pops Tour. We stole Eleanor away from rehearsals to play in the snow and shoot some photos in wintery Corner Brook. But at -20C it was a pretty quick shoot.!
This week I’ve filed two stories and photo packages to Facts and Opinions. One looking back on the 20 years since the Canadian ban on the commercial cod fishery in Newfoundland and the other is a collection of photos and note book entries from my various assignments in Africa. You may have seen the photos before but this is the first time I’ve published anything from my field notes.
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Joseph Baio, who represents Morel, said the ruling proves that images taken from Twitter without permission cannot be used for commercial purposes.
This story started when Morel, 62, a well known photographer for his years of work in Haiti posted the first photos of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to his Twitter account for his clients to see. An editor at AFP discovered Morel’s photos through another Twitter user’s account, downloaded them, striped the identifying metadata and gave them to Getty, a partner agency, for distribution. The photos were then widely disseminated to Getty’s clients worldwide. AFP also distributed a number of the images on their network.
When Morel complained about the copyright infringement AFP filed the lawsuit in 2010 against
Morel, seeking a declaration that it had not infringed on his copyrights. Morel then filed his own counter-suit.
In the Jan 2013 preliminary hearing AFP had initially argued that Twitter’s terms of service permitted the use of the photos but Judge Alison Nathan found that Twitter’s policies that allowed posting and retweeting of images but did not grant the right to others to use them commercially and that AFP and Getty committed a willful violation of the Copyright Act and ordered the case go to trail to award damages. The jury also found AFP and Getty guilty of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: specifically for altering Copyright Management Information and for adding false and misleading CMI. AFP had credited the photos to another photographer. For this they awarded Morel a further $20,000.
At trial, AFP lawyer Joshua Kaufman, blamed the infringement on an innocent mistake and said the Twitter user who posted Morel’s photos without attribution bore responsibility for the error. The AFP editor, Kaufman said, believed the pictures were posted for public distribution.
The $1.2 million was the maximum statutory penalty available under the US Copyright Act. AFP had asked for the award to be set at $120,000. Several news outlets that published Morel’s images previously settled with the photographer for undisclosed amounts, including the Washington Post, CBS, ABC and CNN.
Twitter was not a party in the case. “As has always been our policy, Twitter users own their photos,” a Twitter spokesman said.
You can get the blow-by-blow account of the trail at Editorial Photographers UK
This weeks Macleans has a photo essay of some of my Newfoundland offshore oil industry photos. Macleans is the national news magazine in Canada.
Backstage, Friday night, for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks 2 performance at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland with cellist Sarah Jane Johnson, recipient of this year’s Suncor Energy String Fellowship Program. Photo by Greg Locke © 2013
Had the pleasure of photographing some of the students at Memorial University’s School of Music last week. For this shot Kassandra and her friends where good enough to drag this piano outside on a freezing cold evening and risk a little frost bite. They where great sports and proved that if make the effort instead of doing easy shot you will be rewarded with something wonderful. THANKS GUYS!! Bye the way, Kassie’s music is a great blend of classical, jazz and even a little punk. Watch for her, she will be making waves. Photo by Greg Locke © 2013