Copyright infringement and photography are two topics we cover all the time in our news section, and for good reason – as a photographer’s livelihood, the work created in the field literally puts food on the table.
That’s why creators are so adamant about the most stringent of protections, even those that may seem extreme to outsiders.
After all, people think, it’s just a picture, right?
No, it’s not and photographer’s have more than a right to their work and to profit off of it just as you do for anything you create.
But where things become murky is in the world of social media, especially when it comes to current events.
One resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, in the United States, finds himself in a bit of a spat with Fox News over a photo the organization used of his that showed recent flooding in his town. This photo was taken by resident Max Robinson and posted to his Twitter account for all to see.
Robinson works for the Howard County Recreation and Parks department managing their social media accounts and is a contributing journalist for the local Baltimore Beat, making him well acquainted with copyright law and infringement thereof, as PetaPixel points out.
When a request came through from Fox News Network, he responded quite definitively if not politely in an exchange through Twitter.
Fox News went ahead and used his content anyway despite his response.
For its part, the news organization said everything was legit: “APTN as the source for the images on all our coverage over the weekend – including the photo in question. We licensed the footage through AP’s licensing service, APTN, who made this material available to all their subscribers.”
But this doesn’t mean an Internet crap storm wasn’t kicked up in the wake of Robinson’s experience, with even some users referring him to the famous Liebowitz firm that specializes in copyright infringement.
You may recall the judgement in favor of Daniel Morel who won $1,200,000 in damages after the AFP used his social media images without permission. Since this ruling organizations have been wary about obtaining images for current news stories in this way.