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First off today, Natash Lomas at TechCrunch reports that German newspaper publishers have done an about face and are granting Google a revokable license to display snippets of their content for free in Google News, this after the search giant pulled the snippets following legal action from the publishers.
The publishers fought for a “Google Tax” law in Germany that would require search engines to pay for snippets of text. Though the end act was limited in its implementation, the publishers sued Google for infringement claiming that Google continued to use the snippets without permission. In response, Google pulled the snippets out of its search results, displaying just the headline and link.
But the publishers, which number over 200, said that lost revenue from having the snippets pulled were adversely impacting their site traffic and granted Google “free consent” to use their snippets on a revokable basis. However, the lawsuit itself is moving forward to determine if the law does cover news snippets. A ruling on that is expected in 2015.
Next up today, Veronica Rocha at the L.A. Times reports that a patient, whose name is being withheld, has sued the Los Angeles County – USC Medical Center over a photograph of her that became viral on the Internet after being posted without her permission.
Two and half years ago, the plaintiff attempted suicide by gouging her eyes out with pencils. She was treated at the hospital and, while she was staying there, she alleges a nurse, Joshua Shivers, took a photo of her and used his mother’s computer to distribute it online. She is suing both Shivers and his mother in addition to the hospital and county.
The plaintiff is claiming that the county is the rightful holder of the copyright to the photograph since Shivers was an employee and took the photo during the course of his duties. They allege that the hospital and country, after notified of the breach, did nothing to prevent further dissemination of the image or reduce the harm to the patient, including enforcing its copyright.
Finally today, James Cook at Business Insider reports that photographer Christopher Boffoli has become the target of users of The Pirate Bay, who have posted a torrent file containing the whole of his life’s work in one easy download.
The torrent is a direct response to copyright actions taken by Boffoli, including his most recent lawsuit against image hosting site Imgur over what he alleges is Imgur’s ignoring of DMCA notices he sent them to remove his photos. He filed similar lawsuits against Twitter and Google, both of which were settled out of court.
Boffoli seemed dismissive of the torrent saying that nearly all of the images are already on his Flickr account for free. He just defends his work when he sees it posted elsewhere without his permission.