Articles about "Copyright and fair use"

News Genius editor explains annotating Newsweek’s entire Bitcoin article

As a startup devoted to reprinting and annotating lyrics, Rap Genius has an expansive view of fair use baked into its very being. Its News Genius project is no less aggressive when it comes to copyright: It has published an annotation of an entire Newsweek article that claims to identify Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto.

Reached by phone, News Genius Executive Editor Liz Fosslien said using someone else's article is somewhat unusual for News Genius, which prefers to annotate what she calls "primary source" documents, like Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech or U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's speech accusing the CIA of intruding on congressional computers. (It has, though, reprinted a New York Times op-ed and part of a Rolling Stone article.)

The Newsweek article "was an interesting case where they wanted to use and expose what they thought was incorrect reporting," Fosslien said. The "they" in this equation is News Genius' community, who wield great power as they build influence within the site.

An editor on News Genius is usually an unpaid contributor "who has proven they're making intelligent, eloquent, readable annotations," Fosslien said. The next step up is moderator, and some lucky folks are given "verified accounts" -- "professors," Fosslien said, as well as experts like New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo and Rap Genius investor Marc Andreessen.

In fact, Andreessen was quite involved in annotating the Newsweek article. "Is there anyone left on planet Earth who does not screen their phone calls? What is this, 1962?" Andreessen writes about one line in the Newsweek story. "Virtually everyone trained in any aspect of finance in the last 50 years has been taught to work in reverse Polish notation," he shoots back at another sentence. (more...)

Who owns Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie?

When Ellen DeGeneres granted the Associated Press a license to use the now famous selfie from the Oscars, a debate erupted in the Twitter community. Why did AP need a license for an image that had been retweeted a record-setting … Read more


In Pennsylvania and Alaska, a publisher takes infringement to another level

Near the end of last year, a small publishing company made a big bet: it purchased a a group of 19 regional papers servicing remote areas of Alaska. The purchase included a printing plant, but the plan at Allen Total … Read more


Novel legal theories mingle in BuzzFeed photo suit

Idaho photographer Kai Eiselein is suing BuzzFeed in U.S. District Court, claiming the site should pay not only for infringing his copyright when it ran his image but also for all the sites that subsequently posted it.

"Since BuzzFeed was the original poster of this set of images and provided them for distribution; the defendant is unequivocally responsible both directly and indirectly for all subsequent infringements," Eiselein's complaint reads.

That's an admirably avant-garde legal theory, an area of scholarship in which BuzzFeed is already a thought leader: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has argued the site's lists constitute a transformative use of others' photos, and thus fall under fair use. Jeff John Roberts writes that it's unlikely Eiselein's “contributory infringement” can "succeed on a legal basis — if he does, the case would throw a large chill over the sharing culture that has become a fixture of the social web." (more...)
copyright symbol background

New fair use principles show how copyright can be journalism’s friend

Fair use is an area of copyright law that’s often misunderstood — and feared.

Some publishers think they have limitless rights to use any image they find on Google or social media as they wish. (They don’t.) Another common misconception … Read more


NYT: Scroll Kit developer ‘is bragging’ about copyright infringement

Cody Brown | TechCrunch
Cody Brown received a takedown request from The New York Times' legal department after he posted a video showing how to replicate the "Snow Fall" experience using his tool Scroll Kit.

After he answered that request, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell of the legal department asked him to remove some crowing language from Scroll Kit's site:
It took The New York Times hundreds of hours to hand code "Snow Fall." ...we made a replica in an hour.

Publications can no longer send photographers to Beyoncé shows

Fstoppers | Music Photographers
Beyoncé won't allow publications to send their own photographers to concerts on her Mrs. Carter tour. Publications wishing to illustrate coverage of the tour will have to download photos from an approved site, Noam Galai reports.

Beyoncé's publicist Yvette Noel-Schure emailed BuzzFeed after it ran photos of the singer at the Super Bowl halftime show that Noel-Schure called "unflattering." BuzzFeed turned the email and photos into a piece called "The 'Unflattering' Photos Beyoncé's Publicist Doesn't Want You To See."

The no-photographers edict represents an escalation in the struggle between music artists, photographers and the publications that employ the latter. (more...)

U.K. court: Meltwater doesn’t violate copyright

The Guardian | Politico
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled Wednesday that the news aggregator Meltwater does not violate copyright laws by storing a cached page on app users’ mobile devices and laptops. The court sent the case to the European Court of Justice to ensure that subsequent rulings are consistent across European jurisdictions. (more...)

Shepard Fairey gets probation for actions in AP photo case

Associated Press
A New York judge has sentenced artist Shepard Fairey to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service for lying and destroying evidence relevant to the Associated Press' complaint that he'd used one of its images of Barack Obama as the basis for his iconic "HOPE" poster. Fairey admitted in 2009 he'd "submitted false images and deleted others in the legal proceedings." He pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in February.

The government had argued Fairey should get jail time; Fairey's attorneys argued his offenses were misdemeanors. The AP sounds glad to have this all over and done with:

"After spending a great amount of time, energy and legal effort, all of us at The Associated Press are glad this matter is finally behind us," AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement. "We hope this case will serve as a clear reminder to all of the importance of fair compensation for those who gather and produce original news content."

Portland Press Herald to pay woman for using photograph without permission

The Portland Press Herald will pay a woman $400 for publishing a photograph from her Flickr account after she complained that she hadn't given permission or been contacted beforehand.

The newspaper came under fire for using the photograph (in print and online) in connection with a story about how a local university had allowed a chaplain to return to campus after he had been accused of sexual abuse.

The paper then published an explanation of why it ran the photo, but later deleted the post. In its explanation, the newspaper said a reporter had tried to reach Audrey Ann Slade, but when he was unsuccessful, editors decided that they could legally publish the image under fair use.

Slade wrote on her blog that she was "floored" by the paper's failure to reach her:
No attempt to contact me. No attempt to credit me. Just taking something I did and with no care or regard, dragged something I did to be kind into a sordid and disgusting story. With not so much as a heads up. ... (more...)