Photographer wins lawsuit against companies that took pics off Twitter
Recently a federal jury ordered two image licensing companies to pay $1.2 million to a freelance photojournalist for their unauthorized use of photographs he posted on Twitter. The $1.2 million was the maximum penalty available under the Copyright Act.
The jury found that two agencies had violated the Copyright Act; due to the use of photos taken by the photographer in Haiti after the earthquake that killed more than 250 thousand people.
This case is the first one to address how images available to the public by any social media such as Facebook or Twitter, can be used by others for commercial purposes. It is important to highlight that this is the first time the court established the liability for willful violations of the Copyright Act for this kind of actions.
On the other hand, in Latin America the regulation of pictures uploaded on Twitter or Facebook has not yet been addressed properly. Due to the lack of rules about this issue, it’s possible that the above mentioned resolution could be repeated in any court room in Latin America.
The commercial use of photographs published in any social media is definitely a trendy topic and should be followed in the future.