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March 14, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

Brian from snappedshot notes some copyright irregularities in the legacy media. The wire services have been lifting some photos of "Kristen" without permission:

Three attorneys who specialize in copyright law say media organizations are sailing in dangerous waters if they publish a personal snapshot without permission.

"Whoever took that picture owns that picture," says New York attorney Nancy Wolff. "It's either an infringement or they [the news outlets] have to make a fair use argument."

Wolff says the news organizations probably decided the risk of a lawsuit was low. They also probably considered competitive pressure as other sources published the same photos. "It's a fast business decision," Wolff says.

Of course, given enough publicity, the risk of a lawsuit increases dramatically. I wouldn't be too comfortable if I were the wire services. Kristen is happily making a bundle on this whole mess. A friend of hers who took that photo probably wouldn't mind getting in on the action.

Click on over to Brian's for more links about a photographer who risked life and limb for photos that CNN has repeatedly used without permission. Also, our very own doubleplusundead has an amusing question and observation.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 03:42 PM

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