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First off today, a wall painter who claims to have discovered glass plate negatives of famous photographer Ansel Adams’ unpublished work may not get to keep the revenue from the prints he has sold. The reason is that, since the works were unpublished, they may still be protected by copyright and Adams’ heirs, if they agree that they are indeed his photographs, may be able to claim the money. Currently Adams’ estate says that the evidence offered up by the wall painter who claims to have discovered the negatives isn’t sufficient and disputes their authenticity.
Next up today Want Ad Digest, an advertising company specializing in classified ads, won a $6 million judgment against local magazine Classified Advertiser. According to the plaintiffs, the magazine copied many of the company’s ads but initially had much of its claim thrown out, saying that design and layout of the ads was not infringing. However, according to Want Ad Digest, the company had used text from some 8,000 ads and the jury agreed. Collecting on this judgment may prove impossible as the Advertiser is now out of business, largely due to the expense of this trial.
Finally today, photographer Marilyn Nance is suing the producers of the of the Broadway musical Fela! claiming that a photograph projected during part of the performance is an infringement of her work. According to Nance, she took the photograph of the Nigerian nightclub of musician Fela Kuti which was used for the performance and is seeking some $150,000 in damages. That may prove difficult as, by her attorney’s admission, Nance only registered the work after discovering the infringement, eliminating the opportunity to collect statutory damages.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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