Court rules TwitPic copyright case to proceed against AFP

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A photographer’s copyright claim against Agence France-Presse for photos posted to TwitPic will proceed after a federal judge last month denied the photo agency’s request to dismiss the case.

paidContent’s Joe Mullin explains that photographer Daniel Morel took photos in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and posted them to Twitter and TwitPic. The facts of the case then get complicated:

“According to Morel’s account in court documents, his photos were illegally copied by Lisandro Suero, a resident of the Dominican Republic. Several major news agencies, including the AFP and Newsweek, published Morel’s photos but improperly credited them to Suero, and never paid Morel.”

AFP moved to dismiss the suit, claiming that Twitter’s policies allowed the re-publishing of images and posts shared on the service. U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley denied that motion, and Mullin reports that AFP plans to litigate the case:

“AFP’s fundamental position — that uploading pictures to Twitpic makes them available for other parties to use — hasn’t changed.”

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