By Posting Your Photographs on Twitter, You Have NOT Granted a License for Any Press Agency to Publish Them – District Court

AFP v. Morel Mr. Morel took the photograph in Haiti shortly after the earthquake, and posted it on Twitter.  AFP used the photograph without authorization, and licensed it to Getty Images. In this decision, a case that was brought by AFP, the AFP argued that Twitter’s broad terms of service granted AFP a “third-party beneficiary status” that entitled it use the photograph.  The District Court rejected this argument, and found that AFP had infringed on Mr. Morel’s copyright.  The action against Getty remains. Note to photojournalists:  Timely registration of your copyrights puts you in a better position in actions like these, because it entitles you to statutory damages in a copyright infringement action. Note to copyright holders:  Although AFP is essentially a defendant in the infringement action, it is the plaintiff in this action because it began the action by seeking a “declaratory judgment” that it did not infringe.  When you send a demand letter to an infringer, you may be giving the other party an opportunity to bring an action even if you did not intend to litigate. For informational purposes.  Not legal advice. MJ]]]]> ]]>

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