The Maisel vs Baio Incident

I know Andy Baio personally. We’re not BFFs or anything like that, but we’ve shared tasty beverages. I consider him one of the good guys. I’m also a fan of Jay Maisel’s work. He’s a great photographer. So, it’s with more than a bit of sadness that I watch the story about Andy’s costly incident with Jay’s lawyers spread around the Internet today.

Photographer Jay Maisel Extorts (Opinion) $32,500 Out of Andy Baio

I was disappointed this morning to read about a legal settlement of $32,500 that Andy Baio chose to pay to photographer Jay Maisel. Do you know Jay Maisel? Apparently, he’s the photographer that owns and lives in the 35,000 square foot $30-$50 million mansion in New York City (according to wikipedia). Apparently if you mail him a check for $5,000 he’ll actually let you come inside the mansion for one of his photography workshops.

Why fair use doesn't work unless you've got a huge war-chest for paying lawyers

Last year, Waxy released Kind of Bloop, a chiptunes tribute to Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. He meticulously cleared all the samples on the album, and released it for $5 (backers of his Kicksta…

He believed and believes that it is fair use -- a transformative use with minimal taking that doesn't harm the market for the original, produced to comment on the original. Jay Maisel, the photographer who shot the original, disagreed, and sued Waxy for $150,000 per download, plus $25,000. Waxy ended up settling for $32,500, even though he believes he's in the right -- he couldn't afford to defend himself in court. He's written an excellent post on copyright, fair use, and the way that the system fails to protect the people who are supposed to get an exception to copyright