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First off today, Erin Smith at Reuters reports that a judge has ruled against the news wire service Agence France-Presse (AFP) and The Washington Post in their ongoing case against photographer Daniel Morel.
Morel, who was in Haiti in January 2010 and took several photos of the earthquake, had his photos used by the AFP after Morel had posted them on Twitter. The AFP argued that the Twitter TOS allowed them to make use of his photos but a judge disagreed and now the organization is potentially on the hook for damages.
The judge did limit the damages Morel could claim. Morel had argued that each subscriber who used the images provided by the AFP should be a separate infringement but the judge nixed that idea, saying that it would be one statutory damage award per image infringed. Other issues, such as whether the AFP violated Morel’s rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were left for a trial.
Twitter is not a party to the case.
Next up today, Christine Dobby at the Financial Post reports that, in Canada, a judge has granted another adjournment in the case of Voltage Pictures vs. local ISP TekSavvy.
Voltage wants TekSavvy to hand over customer information of suspected pirates, presumably so they can target them with either lawsuits or threats thereof to compel settlements for infringement. TekSavvy does not plan to oppose the motion but, in December, had asked for more time warn their customers.
The latest adjournment, however, is to allow more time for the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) to intervene and possibly block Voltage’s motion to compel. The judge, has suggested that he would like to hear from an opposing side before granting the motion to compel, thus likely why he moved to postpone the proceedings.
The action is being brought under Canada’s recently-enacted copyright modernization act, which limits damages for file sharing and other non-commercial infringement.
Finally today, Katie Smith at Just Style writes that Target and manufacturer Topson Down have defeated a copyright claim brought by Meridian Textiles.
Meridian had sued the two companies claiming that designs sold at Target infringed their copyright, in particular a zebra print, a burnout pattern and a lace design. However, the judge ruled that the zebra print did not qualify for copyright protection due to the fact it exists in nature and ruled that evidence presented by the defendants was sufficient to dismiss the other claims.
There is no word if Meridian plans on appealing.
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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