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Image Lifted From Twitter Leads to $1.2M Payout For Haitian Photog

timothy posted about a year ago | from the always-look-for-the-cc-label dept.

The Almighty Buck 242

magic maverick writes "A U.S. federal jury has ordered Agence France-Presse and Getty Images to pay $1.2 million to a Daniel Morel, Haitian photographer, for their unauthorized use of photographs, from the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The images, posted to Twitter, were taken by an editor at AFP and then provided to Getty. A number of other organizations had already settled out of court with the photographer."

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He didn't understand how the Internet works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511501)

- But they didn't understand how the law works

Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | about a year ago | (#45511515)

Big business "borrows" images all the time. Nice to see they have to pay the working man (photographer) for once.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511525)

Information wants to be free for me, but not for thee.

Was AFP wrong to take the images because it violated the profoundly-honored institution of copyright, which everyone on Slashdot naturally adores (heh), or because they're a rich corporations, and rich corporations are always wrong compared to "working men"?

I eagerly awate assemblerex's demand for Voltage Pictures to be compensated millions of dollars for the bittorrented distribution of The Hurt Locker. I bring this up as someone who was employed on that film, and note that that money pays my salary on the next film...

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#45511549)

This is a big day for me on /. I have long awaited the moment I could point out a poster with a vested interest in his/her opinion.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year ago | (#45511871)

Everyone has a vested interest in their opinion. So what? It doesn't make them wrong. Seems like you just don't want to acknowledge the hypocrisy he's pointing out.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (3, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about a year ago | (#45512167)

"Vested interest" != "interest." Either by the dictionary definition or in the way that the grandparent was using the phrase, they are different things. You can easily have an opinion on something in which you have no vested interest.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (4, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511947)

Can't decide if you forgot a smiley at the end or not.

My argument's quality is orthogonal to my employment.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511551)

I eagerly awate assemblerex's demand for Voltage Pictures to be compensated millions of dollars for the bittorrented distribution of The Hurt Locker. I bring this up as someone who was employed on that film, and note that that money pays my salary on the next film....

But Mike Masnick says that you're welcome to copy and redistribute all of his painstaking work on Techdirt without compensating him, b/c that will help him! Besides, as he explains the "marginal cost of an infinite good is zero", so therefore the price should be zero.

BTW Mike holds a college degree in economics!

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year ago | (#45511561)

I haven't seen it, should I torrent it?

It seemed to be over-hyped US-centric masturbatory fan fiction from what I saw in the press.

Can I pay you not to make another one? Like those grinning idiots with their violins at touristy restaurants.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511721)

It's good, it's pretty ambivalent, if you come out of that thing feeling good about the Iraq War, you're a moron.

Can I pay you not to make another one?

It's too late, I worked on Zero Dark Thirty too :P

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year ago | (#45511857)

Did you just burn your straw man? ;)

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511929)

Zero Dark Thirty was paid for by Larry Ellison's daughter. Different company. Voltage has gone back to producing million dollar genre films and international acquisitions, which is to say, producing a Oscar winner for best picture has gotten them absolutely nowhere, but for the money, of which there was very little.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45512029)

Voltage has gone back to producing million dollar genre films and international acquisitions, which is to say, producing a Oscar winner for best picture has gotten them absolutely nowhere, but for the money, of which there was very little.

Probably because it was a really crappy movie.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (4, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | about a year ago | (#45511567)

which everyone on Slashdot naturally adores (heh)

You must be new here. GPL only works because of copyright.

Without copyright, copyleft is unneeded (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45511601)

Without copyright, anybody with more time than money could disassemble, document, and distribute any proprietary fork of a program and turn binaries back into (assembly language) source code useful for cloning the added functionality in the Free branch.

Re:Without copyright, copyleft is unneeded (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#45511853)

Without copyright, anybody with more time than money could disassemble, document, and distribute any proprietary fork of a program and turn binaries back into (assembly language) source code useful for cloning the added functionality in the Free branch.

Being involved in some work that's related to reverse engineering (though I guess unrelated enough that I've never actually tried to do that really), my suspicion is that in most cases, it would be easier to re-implement from scratch whatever functionality you wanted than it would be to reverse engineer an existing binary (at least for your typical C or C++ optimized, stripped binary). Thethe main exception to that would be if you were doing something for compatibility or such and didn't even really know what it was doing in the first place... but most of the time if you said "hey, that feature is a really neat idea, I wish the open version had that", I don't think it'd be worth it.

Interoperability (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45511995)

Thethe main exception to that would be if you were doing something for compatibility or such and didn't even really know what it was doing in the first place

That's exactly the case for the printer driver problem that kicked off the GNU project. Mr. Stallman and friends wanted to interoperate with a printer, and its manufacturer was being obstructive.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#45511625)

GPL only works because of copyright.

Without copyright, there would be no need for the GPL.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#45511701)

How so? Just because there is a lack of copyright, that doesn't prevent me from distributing a binary of whatever source code I found without releasing my changes to the source code as well.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45511735)

with lack of copyright there would be nothing from stopping reverse engineering and modifying the programs. that field would be far more advanced by today if we didn't have copyright(and already, despite copyrights, we're seeing hobby projects which disassemble amiga code and turn it into x86 binaries with added functionality like opengl graphics).

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#45511885)

Clean room reverse engineering is already legal (patents not withstanding). WIne hasn't gotten any lawsuits from Microsoft.

Also, copyright is a lazy protection. If it weren't there and I absolutely had to keep you out, I could do things like encrypt the binary in parts so that it never appears in memory in it's entirety. It wouldn't stop anyone dedicated, but it'd keep out 99% of people.

that field would be far more advanced by today if we didn't have copyright

Doubt it. It's not advanced because it's not that interesting. Everyone can write code and share code and be sure that, because of copyright protection and whatever OSS license, it will be returned to the public. Surely this is better than having to fiddle with hex dumps for ten hours just to understand that they changed that int to a float.

(and already, despite copyrights, we're seeing hobby projects which disassemble amiga code and turn it into x86 binaries with added functionality like opengl graphics)

68K isn't the most complex processor in the world; it's pretty easy to understand. Slogging through disassembly of modern x86 produced by a compiler is a total bitch, (like when you first see a COBOL program that was written by multiple people over 20 years). Seriously, what the fuck is the instruction `CVTTPS2PI' supposed to be? Well, it converts two single floats to two signed integers by truncating the fractional part. Obvious, right?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#45511965)

Doubt it. It's not advanced because it's not that interesting. Everyone can write code and share code and be sure that, because of copyright protection and whatever OSS license, it will be returned to the public. Surely this is better than having to fiddle with hex dumps for ten hours just to understand that they changed that int to a float.

I think it would be just because of the sheer profit involved in doing so would be great. Take for example how some Chinese company wrote their own World of Warcraft client from scratch (deliberately sans the graphics) that blizzards servers can't distinguish from a real client so that they could run multiple instances of bots on fewer machines for gold farming.

However on that same token, anti-debugger code would probably become a lot more advanced as well.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511729)

I would strongly agree with this, and I've been here for 15 years. I'm willing to accept this fact about the GPL— smartasses will however argue that the GPL is actually a kind of culture jamming, or "taking the system down from the inside." Casuistry I say.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511573)

The Hurt Locker??

I downloaded it. It wasn't that good. Maybe your next film will be better. Best of luck!

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511587)

I think there should be a 100x multiplier due to the hypocrisy of a major media company stealing when they so aggresively pursue "pirates". Remember, that in general, the music studios effectively steal from the musicians, and big media, in totality, have earned the emnity they got by so aggresively stealing our rights to own our equipment.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45511627)

I eagerly awate assemblerex's demand for Voltage Pictures to be compensated millions of dollars for the bittorrented distribution of The Hurt Locker. I bring this up as someone who was employed on that film, and note that that money pays my salary on the next film...

You seem to be implying that we have a double standard in judging the moral position of copyright litigants.

Let me ask you something: do the "Voltage Pictures" standard contracts in any way, shape, or form conform to the common definition of Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org] ?

It's not that we always side with "the little guy" - we frequently side against small vendors making money off of illegal copying, such as Chinese illegal DVD vendors or businesses who sell open-source software.

The rule is this: we generally side against evil, in all its predatory, corrupt, and dishonourable ways.

What's your take on the "Voltage Pictures" contracts, BTW? I think people here would enjoy your views.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0, Troll)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511817)

Let me ask you something: do the "Voltage Pictures" standard contracts in any way, shape, or form conform to the common definition of Hollywood Accounting?

What's the problem with Hollywood Accounting? Do you have any actual complaint here? The way writers are paid for work is completely regular and legal, and all people outside the business ever hear are the stories, heavily promoted, of certain individuals who thought they could get a better deal by taking their case to the press. They always lose, but behold, a new "evil" has been created, completely out of whole cloth. I have many writer friends and I can tell you the entire critique of "Hollywood Accounting" profoundly ignorant. In the specific case of Art Buchwald, he wasn't screwed by Hollywood Accounting, he was screwed by Eddie Murphy stealing his story.

Tell me this: by what right does a screenwriter deserve more than the wages of "Hollywood Accounting"? How is Hollywood Accounting more fair than, say, the common dot-com tactic of paying an employee with stock options and then diluting them? Or the technology company policy of paying a patent filer with a flat bonus? The difference is moral opprobrium and marketing, nothing more.

The entire concept is fatuous; and the name "Hollywood Accounting" is meant to appeal to naive, parochial prejudices of Americans who assume that LA is filled with effeminate phonies, sin, whores and exploiters. I could call the GPL "Berkeley Dope-Smoker Copyright" by the same turn and be just as right.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1, Offtopic)

suutar (1860506) | about a year ago | (#45511939)

The problem I have with Hollywood Accounting is that I consider it very dishonest, to the point of fraud, for the producers/studio to imply that the movie might make a profit (by offering profit-based compensation) when history shows that the only part of the studio that makes a profit is marketing and distribution, by charging insane margins.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511959)

I think you need to do some more reading. No one is promised a profit in the situations you're talking about. Have you ever read a screenwriters contract? Or participated in WGA arbitration?

How would you feel if I told you I thought you weren't being paid enough at your job, therefore I was morally entitled to steal from your boss?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (3, Insightful)

suutar (1860506) | about a year ago | (#45512047)

I realize nobody is promised a profit. My opinion has nothing to do with screenwriters in particular. I believe http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/09/how-hollywood-accounting-can-make-a-450-million-movie-unprofitable/245134/ [theatlantic.com] (particularly the balance sheet) explains my point of view sufficiently. After all, if big movies are so unprofitable, why do they keep making them?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512079)

Right, I mean with that Harry Potter statement, the word "profit" appears nowhere on it. Net participants don't get "profit," they get "proceeds," as you can clearly see there.

Movies can be very profitable, and studios, where publicly traded, report their profits pursuant to completely legitimate GAAP standards (which suck and are gamed by all corporations, not just "Hollywood studios").

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45512159)

What's the problem with Hollywood Accounting? Do you have any actual complaint here? The way writers are paid for work is completely regular and legal, and all people outside the business ever hear are the stories, heavily promoted, of certain individuals who thought they could get a better deal by taking their case to the press.

Hollywood accounting is essentially lying about profits so that the producers don't have to pay "percent of profit" agreements. I think the best example is Forrest Gump [nytimes.com] , about a year after release it was the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, having taken in around $661 million against a $55 million cost to produce and (at that time) still sitting at a $65 million loss.

Winston Groom [writer of "Forrest Gump"] was only made whole because he had you guys over a barrel: you couldn't make the sequel without his blessing, and he had been burned by the original movie.

Producers have a well-earned reputation as predatory, greedy, grasping, and immoral. I can remember reading occasional accounts of producer behaviour starting with the Three Stooges, with occasional first-hand and investigatory reports ever since with no change in perspective. A simple Google search exposes your history for all to see. You are widely regarded as bad people.

How is Hollywood Accounting more fair than, say, the common dot-com tactic of paying an employee with stock options and then diluting them? Or the technology company policy of paying a patent filer with a flat bonus? The difference is moral opprobrium and marketing, nothing more.

I think you meant to say "less fair".

We don't support companies that screw with employees either, we're pretty consistent about the "fairness" issue.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (-1, Troll)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512183)

Hollywood accounting is essentially lying about profits so that the producers don't have to pay "percent of profit" agreements.

If you can show me a writer's contract that says "percent of profit," I'll surrender my account.

The entire "Hollywood Accounting" narrative was invented by the lawyers of disgruntled writers.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year ago | (#45511849)

The rule is this: we generally side against evil, in all its predatory, corrupt, and dishonourable ways.

Hahahahaha.... you side against "evil", eh? You torrent movies as some noble war against Hollywood accounting? Wherever would we be without our Honorable Okian Warrior to lead the charge against everything he determines is evil?

Quit masturbating to how wonderful you are, and just admit that you torrent movies because you want to and no one can stop you. It's okay, you won't get in trouble for it. And you'd certainly have a lot more credibility.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45512087)

You seem to be implying that we have a double standard in judging the moral position of copyright litigants.

AHHAHAHAHHAHAH

Thanks, I needed a good laugh. I've been reading Slashdot basically since it started, and it's so far beyond a double standard it's not even funny. Techies on Slasdot and other similar boards do not care about the "moral position" of anyone. There is one, and only one, consideration when it comes to Slashdot users evaluating how copyrights should be enforced. That consideration is: "do I get free stuff out of this"? If the answer is yes, then copyrights are evil, shouldn't exist and shouldn't be enforced, information wants to be free, blah blah blah. Otherwise, the position wavers between complete indifference and mild amusement at third parties attacking each other, much like kids on the playground laughing at a slap fight (especially when a littler kid beats a bigger kid, as is the case here).

To reiterate, no one on this board, not one single person, gives a FLYING FUCK about the "moral position" of ANYTHING. They just want their free stuff. That's it.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511629)

The people who torrent wouldn't have likely paid to see it at all. Would you rather your work of art be viewed by more than it would have been otherwise or fuck them they didn't pay.

Not to mention that after seeing the first for free, and if they liked it, they may PAY to see more films by the same director/in the same genre

Food for thought.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#45511715)

Nice try, but that rarely ever happens.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45511647)

I think the big deal is that they put the images on Getty..

so it's like someone taking somebodys music performance from youtube and putting it on spotify and for sale on itunes... rather than someone taking that music from youtube and putting it on vimeo.

they weren't trying to redistribute it for free, they were trying to get a fee for redistributing it.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511913)

they weren't trying to redistribute it for free, they were trying to get a fee for redistributing it.

With respect, nobody is trying to redistribute anything for free. Either the creator distributes it and gets paid admission, or Kim Dotcom distributes it and gets millions in ad impressions. Ad revenue pays for the "free media revolution".

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (5, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | about a year ago | (#45511659)

The Hurt Locker made a profit as intended,but Voltage Pictures and are suing because they feel they are making less money than entitled. The guy in Haiti made no money at all, they just stole his images. So big business wanting every drop of blood versus a man who just wants a piece of the pie is an entirely different situation entirely. Public domain is saying you made enough money , now it belongs to everyone. This idea and public domain is under assault by companies like Voltage Pictures that want to make money forever.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511825)

So big business wanting every drop of blood versus a man who just wants a piece of the pie is an entirely different situation entirely.

So people are only entitled to royalties if they really really need them? Thus, no rich person (or entity) should ever collect a royalty?

Hurt Locker really didn't profit.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511943)

Hurt Locker really didn't profit.

i'm sure that had nothing to do with it being a shitty movie.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512031)

2012 was a movie, some would call "shitty," that made $700 million. Shitty subjective quality is not, nor has ever been, a valid freetard alibi.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#45511741)

Copyright, in and of itself, is a good idea. I have nothing wrong with the concept of a person having a degree of control over that which they produce.

The current system is absolutely broken. The punishment is completely out of proportion - it's like having the death penalty for jaywalking. It interferes with legitimate use and with security research. And it lasts long enough that some artists (or rather, the corporations that bought their rights) are effectively stealing from the public, not the other way around. We need ten-year copyrights, not seventy. And "personal-consumption piracy" needs to be separated from corporate hijacking of someone's work, what happened right here.

What Slashdot hates is not copyright, it is the abuse of power by the wealthy and the corporations. Which is EXACTLY what this was - rich corporations outright stole someone's work, and were directly profiting off it. If anything, there's two or three zeroes missing from their fine - when home users have been sued for millions over downloading one album, a complete abuse of copyright by a corporation shouldn't be just a million or two.

FWIW, I haven't watched your movie, probably never will. And I consider your studio's attempt to blackmail people they suspected of piracy to be little better than thuggish banditry.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (4, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511851)

FWIW, I haven't watched your movie, probably never will. And I consider your studio's attempt to blackmail people they suspected of piracy to be little better than thuggish banditry.

Voltage Pictures is a production company, not a studio. Kathryn Bigelow actually produced her following picture with Annapurna Pictures, which is funded by one of Larry Ellison's kids.

My actual studio is Sony Pictures. You guys are cool with Sony, right? =D

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#45511999)

My actual studio is Sony Pictures. You guys are cool with Sony, right? =D

Ha.

Haha.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#45512097)

My actual studio is Sony Pictures. You guys are cool with Sony, right? =D

Is that the Sony of Sony v. Universal, who along with establishing the idea that time-shifting of television programs was fair use, also defeated the idea that manufacture and sale any device which might enable an infringing use was itself a secondary infringement?

Or is that the Sony which put rootkits on their CDs as a copy protection scheme?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512153)

Both!

Or maybe, Neither! This is the Sony that was once called "Columbia Pictures," bought by the Japanese from the Coca-Cola Company in the late 1980s.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0, Flamebait)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45511877)

We need ten-year copyrights, not seventy. And "personal-consumption piracy" needs to be separated from corporate hijacking of someone's work, what happened right here.

How did you arrive at that number? Kinda arbitrary. I'd agree that the present system is pretty unworkable, though.

I don't agree that "what Slashdot hates is not copyright, it is the abuse of power by the wealthy and the corporations." I know a lot of people just squeaking by, and hoping that their next project hits, and if it does, copyright will be how they benefit. I think what Slashdot hates is certain ways of making money, I think Slashdot is producerist and technophilic: they think creative artists are phonies and not real creators, that people who do marketing and promotion are rentiers, and that the only people actually earning their wealth are coding, doing tech support, and possibly 3D printing Kickstarter prototypes.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45512089)

I know a lot of people just squeaking by, and hoping that their next project hits, and if it does, copyright will be how they benefit.

The world is full of people 'just squeaking by'. What makes you think you're special?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

HereIAmJH (1319621) | about a year ago | (#45512161)

Copyright needs to take into account the type of property being protected. Copyrights should expire at a point where the work is still useful to the public, otherwise it is allowing individuals to take from the public domain and perverting the purpose of copyrights. Does it make sense for software copyrights to have the same duration as movies and books? Patents are only 20 years. As a software developer, my opinion is that 10 or 15 years would be sufficient for software copyright.

As it currently stands, copyright on books and movies will likely never expire in the US. 25 years should be sufficient for their creators to earn a healthy profit. But as long as money talks in Washington we will never see an expiration of copyrights from early 20th century.

Also understand that Slashdot is a diverse community. I personally don't agree with anything that you think 'Slashdot' believes. And I've been here through the discussions of Hurt Locker lawsuits and the Sony rootkits.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511815)

I don't think the court is saying that downloading the pictures is what was wrong. Otherwise the rest of the people viewing those pictures would be liable as well.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45511875)

I strongly think it was just because of all the copyright enforcement France has engaged in with the attempts to protect their own media companies.

It is only fitting that French companies play by the same rules they and the French government attempt to force others to play by.

And I say that after watching movies all night on pirate websites that I would never pay to see in the first place.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45511893)

Information wants to be free for me, but not for thee.

Was AFP wrong to take the images because it violated the profoundly-honored institution of copyright, which everyone on Slashdot naturally adores (heh), or because they're a rich corporations, and rich corporations are always wrong compared to "working men"?

because they made money from it

I eagerly awate assemblerex's demand for Voltage Pictures to be compensated millions of dollars for the bittorrented distribution of The Hurt Locker. I bring this up as someone who was employed on that film, and note that that money pays my salary on the next film...

Look into your contract sucker, do you really believe your payment was somehow related to how much money movie made? I wont even mention hollywood accounting.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512049)

Look into your contract sucker, do you really believe your payment was somehow related to how much money movie made?

I'm very grateful I don't pay my rent with that kind of deal — no one does, though some producers would love to switch to that model. They call it "innovative" and dangle tales of Kickstarter millionaires in front of the desperate and stupid. I read my deal memo very carefully.

I have a union, thank god. Actually my pension is paid by profit sharing that counts as a "cost" from a "net" writer's profit computation (tee hee).

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511915)

Quote from article: "The AFP editor, Mr Kaufman, said he believed the pictures were posted for public distribution."

If AFP won the case, then every person downloading things from bit torrent could claim they believed that movie, game, or whatever was posted there for public distribution. I've never seen a file with a visible copyright notice before downloading it, thus it's all freely available and put there by the publisher else it would be illegal and would have already been taken down by a take-down notice.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (3, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | about a year ago | (#45511949)

I believe there is a strong difference between commercial and non-commercial copyright violations.

When you take what someone is trying to sell and sell it yourself, you've clearly crossed all moral boundaries. You've removed people who demonstrably will pay for the content from the pool of people to pay the creator.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

crioca (1394491) | about a year ago | (#45512057)

I eagerly awate assemblerex's demand for Voltage Pictures to be compensated millions of dollars for the bittorrented distribution of The Hurt Locker. I bring this up as someone who was employed on that film, and note that that money pays my salary on the next film...

Well how about you get 50% of the profits that were made by everyone who distributed The Hurt Locker over BitTorrent.

That would come to... carry the one... uh, nothing. You get zero dollars. Wow, Who'da thunk it that there's a difference between pirating something for profit and pirating something for personal use.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#45512133)

Well how about you get 50% of the profits that were made by everyone who distributed The Hurt Locker over BitTorrent.

Now there's some Hollywood accounting for you.

(BTW, I obtained The Hurt Locker legally, so no checks for $0.00 from me)

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45512077)

There is far less hypocrisy than you think around here regarding copyright.

I respect copyright. Specifically, I respect that idea that on a very temporary basis you are afforded some legal rights that allow you to profit from the work. Obviously, you're doing this as part of a group and that applies as well.

What I do not respect, and you can go suck a big bag of dirty dicks for, is any kind of support for:

- The curtailment and abrogation of my rights and freedoms in order to suit your agenda in any way, shape, or form.
- You're bullshit tendencies towards insane entitlement. Such as, I don't like homosexuals or pink unicorns. You can't have my art anywhere near that. You don't care if I did pay for it. You demand that your rights far exceed the scope of copyright and enter the realm of megalomania.
- Any tripe that exits your pie hole about how ideas and expressions are property and treated as if they are physical.
- The complete and utter disregard for the truth when arguing about copyright, the economy, and it's vital role in a society.
- The complete and utter disregard for the sanctity of privacy and anonymity as a basic human right in the most selfish way possible. To further your own enrichment, create false property, and attempt to create dynasties (pseudo or otherwise) founded upon said false property.
- The ridiculous sense of entitlement that you be compensated richly for intellectual property you never even contributed to at all. It was daddy that made those contributions 50 years ago and you want to ride his accomplishments for the rest of your life.

Other than that, I have no problem shelling out a couple of bucks to compensate you for your work. Thanks for helping make those movies. Seriously.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#45512145)

The complete and utter disregard for the sanctity of privacy and anonymity as a basic human right in the most selfish way possible.

On what ground do you claim this as a right? What is the historical basis for anonymity and privacy as a "right," not just from the government but from others?

- The ridiculous sense of entitlement that you be compensated richly for intellectual property you never even contributed to at all. It was daddy that made those contributions 50 years ago and you want to ride his accomplishments for the rest of your life.

I uh... I don't know how this particular wrong, as egregious as it can be, is particularly exceptional compared to any other abuse of dynastic wealth. I believe in a 90% death tax, but I'm not going to be copacetic with breaking the back of the copyright regime while hedge fund execs get to pass on their billions through trusts. The weird crazy-long limitation on copyrights was demanded by artists (and their corporations, ha ha) in order to keep parity with other bizarre state-supported wealth diversion schemes.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#45511553)

Was he expecting to make $1.2m on the photos in the original place? How much of that goes to lawyers on his side and how much did the other lawyers get paid?

Did AFP have suitable mechanisms to identify the source or the photos or did they have fixed compensation in place where a source is later found?

Everyone cheers these big payouts but forgets that in the end we pay. When a large insurance payout goes to someone of something ridiculous like $50 million, to people who would be lucky to make a million in their lifetime, people cheer, yet complain when it means their medical costs go up to cover the doctors insurance premiums.

It is good that the correct source was found and that he won the court case but this is not the correct way to solve these problems.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511613)

What does stealing an image from someone on Twitter have to do with doctors insurance, again?
Surely, I must have missed an important step there or something.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#45511901)

Big payouts like this are not in line with the actual loss. Was the image worth $1.2m? perhaps but i doubt it. Particularly with this being just one of many outlets that used the image. Do other photographers get that much? no. So it makes us all feel good until we realise that ultimately the costs are passed onto us. Instead the lawyers get rich and that just breeds more lawyers.

Big payouts for medical problems act as a lottery and while they look like they penalise the doctors they just penalise the rest of us. Instead provide payouts in a manner that alleviate the problems, with free medical and income replacement, instead of a massive, instant multi-millionaire payout. Which also pays for the big lawyer fees.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45512021)

How is this any different to the vast fines the IP Barons demand when someone downloads a song? Except that, in this case, they actually profitted from his work rather than just downloaded it to look at.

So long as copyright exists, media corporations should pay far more for violating it for commercial use than any individual for private use.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#45512053)

Because we dont pass the costs on...

And in any case i dont agree with the IP Barons exploiting us any more than i agree with lawyers exploiting anyone.

These payouts get positioned as "justice" but they are not really.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511615)

Its like the lottery. We all lose. And by that I mean the "system" wins.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45511657)

When a large insurance payout goes to someone of something ridiculous like $50 million, to people who would be lucky to make a million in their lifetime, people cheer, yet complain when it means their medical costs go up to cover the doctors insurance premiums.

It is good that the correct source was found and that he won the court case but this is not the correct way to solve these problems.

You make a good point, but I'm not sure what can be done about it. Others would use that same point to defuse righteous cheering and encourage solemnity at the outcome, and maybe imply that it is in our best interest *not* to encourage such outcomes. Not holding the perpetrators' feet to the fire would be a worse alternative.

Do you have an alternative? What do you propose?

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (2)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#45511941)

Payouts to the victims should reflect the loss. Punitive damages should not be in cash or if in cash should be paid to the state, just as normal fines are. The focus should be on what is being done to avoid this problem in the future. So in this case AFP would have to show that they have the process and steps in place to ensure that the issue is not repeated. Punitive damages could be in the form of them doing charity work or other non-cash forms. If the directors have to give up every saturday for a year you can bet this will never happen again, if it is cash, then the insurance company pays or it comes from profits and nothing much changes.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#45511717)

This isn't medicinal malpractice. Calm down, your insurance prices aren't going up. All it means is a couple companies have to pay some money, and every other media company will be more careful lifting pictures they don't own.

I have trouble seeing how that's a bad thing; people should be compensated for their work.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511725)

this is not the correct way to solve these problems.

The spectre of punitive damages is supposed to deter malfeasance. If anything, the payouts should be higher, since they don't appear to be a big enough deterrent.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#45511749)

Those damages are punitive, to provide incentive to never do it again. If it only covered costs, then it would still be profitable to do it because not everyone is going to waste their time suing over $2K.

Everyone cheers these big payouts but forgets that in the end we pay.

Tough shit. Let me guess, libertarian? I love it when they preach freedom, but get pissy whenever someone else's exercise in freedom ends up costing them.

to people who would be lucky to make a million in their lifetime

How dare they aspire to anything above their station.

yet complain when it means their medical costs go up to cover the doctors insurance premiums.

And insurance companies that regularly insure shitty doctors will go out of business and the quacks can't practice anymore, raising the quality of healthcare provided for all.

Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (1, Insightful)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#45511925)

I am not a libertarian and don't care about people getting "above their station". This gives more insight into you, than me. And if you think insurance companies get rid of quacks then you truly are delusional. This is also a reason why the U.S. has much more expensive medical care than most other comparable countries. And more lawyers than other countries too. And it just encourages people to do frivilous lawsuits hoping to win the big lottery.

You didn't read a thing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511845)

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131122/16151225339/statutory-damages-strike-again-afp-getty-told-to-pay-12-million-using-photo-found-via-twitter.shtml

Start with: AFP sued Morel first. Wait, they sued him for using HIS image? Basically yes, they claimed commercial defamation against him. even though he sent them a letter, and had not gone public...

They claimed Twitter's TOS allowed them to take the image and use it without pay or attribution even.
Then they claim Twitpic's TOS allowed it when that didn't pan out.

After that, rather than trying to settle, they stuck to their guns and took it to trial anyways. And at trial...they lost. And they were penalized with 1.2 million in statutory damages the maximum award of 150,000.00 per infringement (there were several uses of the photo in question apparently) by the jury. Plus an award for DMCA violations (reports are sketchy on the actual amount, but 16 violations with a minimum of 2,500.00 each so its not chump change either), AND attorney's fees.

So, your premise that this guy is a douchebag and sued these guys in court to get a massive payout on some silly little pic is actually factually incorrect and entirely baseless if you had bothered to read either of the stories covering this. AFP and Getty were the dickbags here, and they apparently pissed the jury off. Everyone SHOULD cheers these kinds of payouts, they ARE ridiculous. This level of statutory penalty should make eyes pop and faces redden, and everyone should sit up and take notice when a big company gets hit by them and not just individual citizens who really will never pay even a fraction of these amounts. I hope this slows down the copyright maximalists a little bit, to see that it can and will eventually begin to bite them and with the world at large fairly sick of seeing the big guys push around people, maximum damage awards will be fairly common against them.

I smell... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year ago | (#45512099)

...an appeal. AFP is not going to take a 1.2m verdict lying down. I might feel a little sorry for the AFP if AFP hadn't filedthe first suit that sounds like they were pre-emptively stripping the photographer of his copyright with an aggressive lawsuit. I worry more that this verdict will ultimately be used by corporations on little people.

So what... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#45511545)

Getty Images had about $945 million in revenue last year, according to a March credit report by Moody's. That's up from $857.6 million in 2007, the last full year in which the company reported financial results.

That is 2008....do you think they really care about part of 1.2 million? Do you think it will change attitudes and behaviors?

Re:So what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511697)

One has to wonder if you know the difference between revenues and profit?

Photog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511563)

I had to use urban dictionary to understand wtf a "photog" was:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=photog [urbandictionary.com]

Slang for Photographer apparently. Although I've never heard or seen anyone use the term and apparently those writing the summary title thought they were being "hip".

Re:Photog (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511683)

You're a douche. Just so you don't have to look it up, that's short for douchebag, and I'm implying that you're only useful for cleaning vaginas.

Re:Photog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511747)

Or you could have just used an actual dictionary and seen the word has been in use since at least 1906 [merriam-webster.com] and Google's Ngram viewer has it appearing much earlier [google.com] . Getting angry at the world about the limitations of your vocabulary probably explains why your vocabulary is limited in the first place. I guess you don't care much for fancy book learnin' and just get angry when people use a word you've never heard before. I'm surprised you've moved past grunting and pointing.

Limited subject lengths (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45512041)

The headline of a Slashdot story and the subject of a Slashdot comment are limited in length. Comment subjects are limited to 50 characters. Headlines can be longer, but they still have a limit that I happen not to have tested. Some people have a habit of abbreviating Microsoft as M$ in subjects to save seven characters.

When the shoe is on the other foot... (5, Informative)

shameless (100182) | about a year ago | (#45511595)

Getty Images makes no bones about asking a lot of money for their images and making sure they get paid. I own a business that among other things produces fine art prints. Some time back a customer asked about a print of a particular Old Master painting that wasn't listed in any publisher's catalog. Tracking down a high-resolution image that I could print myself led me to Getty Images. The minimum royalty for this kind of use was in the $300 range. The rep came right out and said that their royalty structure would not be economical for one-off print like I was seeking.

This, BTW, is for an image that is theoretically in the public domain.

Re:When the shoe is on the other foot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511937)

The "image" may be in the public domain but photographs of it are not. It's expensive to get a high quality photo of a well known art piece. Handling and photographing (the lighting) artwork irrevocably damages it a little each time. Museums and galleries are loathe to allow someone to photograph it without a specific reason and a good amount of money..

Bridgeman v. Corel; damage (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45512059)

The "image" may be in the public domain but photographs of it are not.

Depends on the country. In the United States, the Southern District Court of New York ruled in Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corporation that faithful photos of a public domain painting aren't original to get their own copyright.

Handling and photographing (the lighting) artwork irrevocably damages it a little each time.

In what way does a camera on a tripod pointed at an exhibit taking a long exposure with the museum's existing light damage the exhibit?

Re:Bridgeman v. Corel; damage (5, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45512141)

In what way does a camera on a tripod pointed at an exhibit taking a long exposure with the museum's existing light damage the exhibit?

The camera steals its soul.

Maximum Penalty???? (1)

devloop (983641) | about a year ago | (#45511655)

How is $1.2m the maximum penalty available under the law for this case, when back in 2009, Capitol vs Thomas, a jury awarded $1.92m to Capitol?

Even at $1.92m, that was NOT the highest they could have gone either, the judge established that each infringement would be penalized at $80k, down from a maximum of $150k per instance!

That would have worked out to $3.6m.

Why weren't AFP et al penalized per infraction, vs having a cap for the whole incident?

Re:Maximum Penalty???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511763)

How is $1.2m the maximum penalty available under the law for this case, when back in 2009, Capitol vs Thomas,
a jury awarded $1.92m to Capitol?

Even at $1.92m, that was NOT the highest they could have gone either, the judge established that each infringement
would be penalized at $80k, down from a maximum of $150k per instance!

That would have worked out to $3.6m.

Why weren't AFP et al penalized per infraction, vs having a cap for the whole incident?

The maximum penalty of 150k goes cleanly into 1.2m eight times. It would be safe to assume that nothing strange is going on and there was eight infringed works.

Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45512127)

Like in the Jammie(sp?) Thomas case she was fined for *EACH DOWNLOAD*, was she not?

If this was 8 works distributed to hundreds of thousands or millions of people, then shouldn't they be penalized a lot more?

Additionally shouldn't there have been further punitive damages since this was willfor and for-profit infringement (while the Thomas case was, AFAIK not?)

Just my 2c

Re:Maximum Penalty???? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#45511773)

Music and movies have special rules.

Re:Maximum Penalty???? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45511961)

if it's the industry suing someone then it's the amount of redistributions that is the amount of infringed works, if someone is suing the industry then it's the amount of copies made that is the multiplier. perfect sense, no?

what should have been the multiplier would have been the amount of times they got paid through getty for the photos..

Why did the other companies settle? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year ago | (#45511677)

I don't understand why Getty's client settled ... Getty might be aware of the lack of due diligence on AFP's part, but I assume their clients were not. How can they be held responsible?

Re:Why did the other companies settle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511975)

Tip: Their lawyers have gone to law school and understand how the law works. You haven't and don't.

Re:Why did the other companies settle? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45512011)

I would assume they concluded that settling would be less costly than fighting it. The fact that it was settled for an undisclosed amount probably suggests that the original author was asking something more reasonable then what was awarded in court.

The problem with copyright is that dissemination or distribution in and of itself is a violation so even if I swore to you that I owned the copyright and you could distribute it, you are not entirely off the hook if I was not truthful. Of course any sane court would likely keep any penalties as low as possible if you could prove that. Some juries might even toss it out because of the mens rea [wikipedia.org] involved but it would require going to court and risking losing the case.

Re:Why did the other companies settle? (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#45512015)

My first guess is that the settlements were reasonable and it meant they didn't have to go to trial. =P

Even if they would win, it would be bad press for them to be dragging a little guy through a trial in which they admitted using his photos without his permission, but instead argued that they were themselves defrauded by a third party. As far as I know, they would be found liable for damages, and then be told to sue the third party (in this case, Getty) themselves to recoup their losses.

For the Haitian photographer, the settlements with the end users likely made their position negotiating with Getty stronger, though Getty seems to have gone to trial anyway.

Re:Why did the other companies settle? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#45512037)

They probably settled for a much lower amount, and it was cheaper than fighting in court. Plus, it's bad publicity fighting someone who lived through that earthquake just to have his work stolen by corporations and then used by your own corporation.

next week nigga be dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511719)

How long till this so called "photographer" (nigga with nokia x2 cell phone) will be dead from drug overdose?

Re:next week nigga be dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511801)

Hes not just some shmuck who snapped a few photos with a phone. The guys a photojournalist.
http://photomorel.com/

That's a lot of money in Haiti (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45511883)

He could spend the rest of his life raping dumb american women with that kind of cash.

Re:That's a lot of money in Haiti (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45512091)

True. Dumb liberal women consider it a right of passage to go to Haiti or Jamaica and be raped by some syphletic rasta coon. They do this to get back at mommy and daddy and "show them". Unfortunately a lot of them end up with an unwanted mongrel biscuit in the oven. No decent man will ever want anything to do with such a trashy woman. She eventually gives up the mongrel pickaninny for adoption, and is readmitted to Brandeis to complete master's thesis on "Caribbean Culture".

After graduation she lands a job with NYC social services processing section 8 vouchers. She gets fat, and goes "glutten free" when her actual problem indicates the she should really go "glutton free". She tries a reformed temple, universalists, and finally the "ethical society". Sunday mornings are spent at "the society" shariing chocolate donuts and latte with other weirdo skanks with stringy, greasy, salt and pepper hair. She will die alone at age 59 of heart disease, and surrouned by cats, in her rent controlled studio. When found, her desicatted, partially mummified corpse will have been partially devoured by aforementioned felines. Dead, alone and friendless, without heirs, and never having lived long enough to receive her pension.

Was fornicating with a negro worth it? We think not.

The Getty Images that threatens website owners? (3, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a year ago | (#45512051)

Seems to me that this is another nail in the coffin. As many small business websites as they have gone after with extortion letters rather than letters trying to convert them to paying customers, I have no problem with Getty being dinged and dinged hard for doing the same that that they go after small businesses for. Getty has been a poor corporate citizen for many years, and at worst we should expect them to strictly abide by the same copyright rules that they are so adamant about.
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