When the news broke that Charlie Watts had passed away, Instagram, Facebook, et al naturally bloomed with tributes, editorials, eulogies, and personal notes of gratitude for the late percussionist’s contributions to music. But although the virtual vigil has become standard practice every time a beloved cultural figure passes away, one overlooked difficulty of this and similar trends is that all ...

On May 19, two California photographers filed a class action suit alleging that Instagram is liable for inducement of copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, and vicarious copyright infringement due to the platform’s implementation and promotion of its “embed” function. The complaint begins: “This case is about Instagram’s scheme to generate substantial revenue for its parent, Facebook, Inc., by encouraging, inducing, ...

In my recent post about the McCloskey photograph, I said that courts tend to favor a photographer’s right to capture and distribute an image, even in situations involving fairly substantial privacy invasions in order to obtain photographs of limited news value. What I had in mind was the kind of paparazzi who aggressively pursue celebrities (especially women), and I was ...

Photo by Max Dubler. Used by permission. Last week, while I was writing my last post about photographer David Slater, a story on PetaPixel was making the rounds.  Written by photographer Max Dubler, the title is a refrain of an all-too-familiar theme.  No You Can’t Use My Photos on Your Brand’s Instagram for Free, says Dubler. Dubler has carved out ...

Lens photo by mrbrainous For all the attention paid to music and motion picture piracy, the most chronically infringed works via the internet has got to be photographs.  The speed and volume with which photos are uploaded and redistributed by both commercial and non-commercial users is so constant that it occasionally results in some amusing—if not infuriating—mistakes.  Like the time in February ...

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