The ultimate verdict will have major ramifications on fair use in the visual arts.
Lynn Goldsmith is a famed photographer who is also a long-time American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) member. In 1984 Vanity Fair licensed one of Goldsmith’s photos of Prince that was shot in December of 1981 for $400 to create an illustration of Prince to be used in an article “Purple Fame.” Vanity Fair did not inform Goldsmith that the photo was being used by Warhol as a reference, and she did not see the article when it was initially published.
The agency is arguing that all photojournalism and news falls under public domain.
In a report from the Press Gazette, former photographer for AFP Francisco Leong — who started working for AFP in 2005 and left the agency in 2019 — is arguing that the contract he signed with the international news agency which gave copyrights to the agency and not the photographer was in violation of Portuguese law — specifically its Journalist Statue and Code of Copyright — which states that the ultimate rights to journalistic work even through the course of employment belong to the creator. As such, Leong argues that his contract is null and void and that the copyrights to the images should be returned to him.
The lawsuit targets copyright infringement tied to Instagram embeds.
In a report from Reuters, the complaint alleges that Instagram’s embedding tool allowed publishers to display copyrighted images without obtaining permission from artists or paying a licensing fee. The class-action lawsuit could include “many thousands” of photographers who claim Instagram “induced online publishers” to embed links to Instagram in order to drive traffic — and by association advertising revenue — to the site.
The fundamental mechanics of platforms like Instagram exploit and undermine photographers because photographers lack a unified voice with teeth like those that have secured rights for Musicians and Film Producers.
In 1981, Newsweek hired photographer Lynn Goldsmith to photograph Prince, an up-and-coming musician who was still years away from releasing his seminal “Purple Rain” album. Goldsmith’s portraits never ran, but she did own the copyright. In 1984, Vanity F
Upon Prince’s death in 2016, the Warhol Foundation licensed the Prince Series for use in a Condé Nast tribute magazine, and one of the images was used on the cover. Goldsmith tried to extract a licensing fee, but the Foundation accused her of a “shake down” and filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in 2017. The suit sought a “declaratory judgment” that Warhol’s images didn’t infringe upon Goldsmith’s copyright and were “transformative or are otherwise protected by fair use.” Goldsmith countersued for infringement.
The woman who says the enslaved people are her ancestors plans to appeal the decision “about the patriarch of a family, a subject of bedtime stories.”
The judge acknowledged that the daguerreotypes had been taken under “horrific circumstances” but said that if the enslaved subjects, Renty and Delia, did not own the images when they were taken in 1850, then the woman who brought the lawsuit, Tamara Lanier, did not own them either.
Facebook has announced an update to its 'Rights Manager' tool that will enable photographers to claim ownership over their most popular images, identify
“Today, we are introducing Rights Manager for Images, a new version of Rights Manager that uses image matching technology to help creators and publishers protect and manage their image content at scale,” reads the announcement. “To access Rights Manager, Page admins can submit an application for content they’ve created and want to protect. Rights Manager will find matching content on Facebook and Instagram.”
Google releases new licensable images features to help photographers looking to improve the discovery of their content and earn more.
Have you heard the news? Google Images released their new licensable images features earlier today, which will help photographers looking to improve the discovery of their content and potentially earn more.
By stating outright that users of its embedding feature don't get licenses from Instagram to display photos, Instagram is preventing future defendants from using Mashable's argument. It will be hard for Newsweek to convince a judge that it had a sublicense from Instagram when Instagram has explicitly claimed the opposite.