Federal Judge Upholds $1.2 Million Verdict in Morel v. AFP Copyright Case

by JamesNYCAugust 14. 2014 14:10

A federal judge has upheld a $1.2 million jury award in favor of photographer Daniel Morel, after determining that there was sufficient evidence presented at the trial last year to support the verdict.

Morel won $1.2 million in damages after a federal jury determined that Getty and AFP willfully violated his copyrights by uploading eight of his exclusive news images of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and distributing them without his permission. The award also included an additional $20,000 damages for violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Getty and AFP had appealed the $1.2 million award on the grounds that there was not enough evidence presented at the trial to establish willful copyright infringement. They had asked the court to vacate the jury’s finding of willful infringement, reduce the award to Morel, or grant a new trial.

A federal judge rejected the appeal.

“There was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that the defendant’s infringement (and particularly AFP’s) was not just willful but reflected a gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders,” US District Court Judge Alison Nathan wrote in a decision handed down yesterday. She added, “In light of all the consideration that the jury was entitled to consider, [reduction] of the $1.2 million statutory damages award is not required.

“The evidence was plainly sufficient for the jury to conclude that AFP’s infringement was willful under either an actual knowledge or reckless disregard theory,” Nathan said. She said the evidence for willfulness on Getty’s part was “somewhat thin” in comparison to the evidence against AFP. But she went on to say that the evidence of Getty’s willfulness “was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.”

Morel had uploaded his images to Twitter, offering to license them to news outlets. The images were stolen and re-distributed by another Twitter account holder. Judge Nathan cited evidence presented at trial that Vincent Amalvy, AFP’s Director of Photography for the Americas, knew or should have known that the images were actually Morel’s, and that AFP didn’t have permission to distribute them.

The evidence against Getty for willful infringement was that it left Morel’s images on its web site under a false credit for more than two weeks after AFP sent a “kill notice” telling Getty to remove the images.

The award was the maximum amount of statutory damages possible under the law.

AFP and Getty had asked the court to reduce the $1.2 million award on the grounds that it was based on a “speculative” figure of actual damages amounting to $275,000 in lost sales. Judge Nathan said that on the basis of actual downloads (1,000 or more) of the image and sale prices, the actual damage estimate was reasonable. But she went on to say that juries aren’t required in any case to base statutory awards on actual damage estimates.

She also rejected arguments that the $1.2 million statutory award was “instinsically excessive.” Noting that courts defer to the prerogative of juries to set damage awards and rarely set them aside unless they “shock the judicial conscience and constitute of denial of justice,” Nathan said AFP’s actions in particular could be seen as “gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders” and let the jury award stand.

At the same time, Nathan upheld a $10,000 jury award against AFP for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations, while vacating a $10,000 award for DMCA violations against Getty.

The DMCA makes it unlawful to intentionally remove or alter copyright management information, or to knowingly provide or distribute false copyright management information with intent to conceal infringement.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Vincent Amalvy, the AFP Director of Photography, knew that Morel’s images were falsely credited to another Twitter user, but distributed the pictures with the false credit anyway, Judge Nathan wrote in her decision.

Getty violated the DMCA by continuing to distribute the images under a false credit, after receiving notice from AFP to remove the images, the judge said. But Getty was not liable under a DMCA provision for distributing the images with knowledge before the fact that the image credits had been illegally altered.

----UPDATE---

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP press release below:

Court Upholds Landmark Jury Verdict for Willkie Client, Photojournalist Daniel Morel

New York, NY (August 14, 2014) — U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday issued a Decision and Order upholding the jury’s verdict that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images (US) Inc. must pay $1.22 million for willfully infringing photojournalist Daniel Morel’s copyrights in his award-winning images of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

In the Decision, the Court rejected defendants’ argument that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that the defendants acted willfully when they wrongfully misappropriated and transmitted Mr. Morel’s photographs to over 1,000 of their subscribers and licensees. The Court also left intact the jury’s award of the maximum statutory damages available under the Copyright Act. The Court held: “There was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that Defendants’ infringement (and particularly AFP’s) was not just willful but reflected a gross disregard for the rights of copyright holders.” After learning of the Decision, Mr. Morel said, “I am grateful that Judge Nathan recognizes the value of a photojournalist’s work and that she is holding AFP and Getty Images fully responsible for what they did to me. I hope no other photojournalist will have to go through a similar ordeal.”

The Willkie team is led by partner Joseph Baio in the firm’s New York Office. ***************************************************** Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of over 600 attorneys with offices in New York, Washington, Paris, London, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt and Brussels. The firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.

 

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Manfrotto introduces Pro Light series of photo and video bags

by JamesNYCAugust 11. 2014 19:10

Manfrotto has announced a new line of backpacks and accessories, the Pro Light series. The new line includes backpacks designed for both still photographers and videographers, holsters and rain covers, all designed with an emphasis on portability and versatility. The five styles of backpacks for still photographers offer side access for another route to your gear and are priced from $220 - $310 USD/£199.95 - £249.95 GBP. See the video and press release below for more information.

Manfrotto Pro Light Bags Backpack MB PL-3N1-25 from Manfrotto on Vimeo.

Lightweight, Durable Pro Light Collection Strikes the Perfect Balance for Professionals on the Move

Upper Saddle River, N.J. (August 11, 2014) – Manfrotto, a leading global distributor of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, proudly introduces its new Pro Light Bags Collection, designed for on-the-move professional photographers, videographers and advanced hobbyists. Crafted using the most innovative materials and design techniques, the Pro Light bags are the lightest carrying solutions in the Manfrotto range, while providing superior protection and ease of access.

"Manfrotto offers the most comprehensive range of premier quality carrying solutions on the market today, each of which was designed with specific users and applications in mind," said Paul Zakrzewski, Director of Marketing for Manfrotto Distribution, Inc. "The Pro Light Collection is certainly no exception in that it was created to meet the needs of professionals on the go. These bags were designed specifically for professionals who need to carry a lot of high end gear in a comfortable, highly-protective case and then have quick, easy access to all that gear at the drop of a hat." 

Manfrotto's Pro Light bag line offers a comprehensive range of carrying solutions designed specifically for photographers and videographers who need to bring a considerable amount of gear on active assignments. Versatile, functional and extremely ergonomic, Manfrotto's Pro Light photo bag range features a number of intuitive, creative solutions that facilitate rapid access to equipment. The 3N1 Backpacks, for example, enable users to rotate the backpack to their chest and access their gear via the fast-opening side pocket within seconds -- without ever having to remove the bag from their body.

"Innovation is a major part of the Manfrotto DNA and the Pro Light Collection is representative of that," noted Zakrzewski. "As the needs and preferences of the photo and video communities continue to evolve, so must the equipment that we develop to support them in their work. With the addition of the Pro Light Collection to the Manfrotto family of bags, we now offer innovative, reliable carrying solutions for all skill levels, personal preferences, and imaging missions."

Pro Light bags have top wearability and ergonomic access solutions, combined with a stylish Italian design true to the Manfrotto brand. Its tough outer layer and high-resistant nylon legs provide the greatest protection to the gear inside.

Key features of Manfrotto's Pro Light bags include:

  • Extreme Lightness: Pro Light bags feature the latest innovative materials to construct the lightest camera bags in the Manfrotto range, delivering maximum comfort and usability for assignments.

  • Maximum Protection: At the core of each Pro Light bag is the innovative Manfrotto Camera Protection System (CPS). This unique system has been specifically engineered to provide maximum protection for the most vulnerable equipment in the center of the bag. Strict laboratory tests confirm that the innovative 3D shock-absorbing foam dividers provide the highest level of protection and resistance where it really counts.

  • Unmatched Flexibility: Pro Light bags come in a variety of sizes and configurations, all with ample room to fit a substantial amount of gear. The removable CPS dividers allow users tremendous flexibility in organizing and packing their equipment. Numerous design innovations provide quick, easy access to gear at a moment's notice. Some of the bag options also allow ample room for a laptop, tablet, and other electronic gear useful in shooting, such as element covers and protections for photo and video cameras.

  • Attention to Detail and Design: All Pro Light Bags have been conceived with attention-to-detail and design, using the latest innovative materials and fabrics. Every element and feature of each bag was created with a specific purpose. Removable and ergonomic waist straps ensure stability and comfort, and eliminate unwanted tilting. Pocket positions, zipper pullers, tripod holders and straps have been designed according to the most innovative carrying solutions for instant access.

Manfrotto's Pro Light Bags Collection includes a total of 28 product SKUs, including holsters, photo backpacks, video backpacks, rolling organizers, video cases, and accessories such as element covers and camera straps. The bags are available now at retailers nationwide, and range in price from $44.00 to $550.00.

To learn more about Manfrotto's extensive range of bag options and collections, visit http://www.manfrotto.us/camera-bags-collection.

For additional information or to learn more about Manfrotto's photo and video products and accessories, visit www.manfrotto.us. Follow Manfrotto on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ManfrottoSoX  or on Twitter @manfrotto_us.

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Lady Gaga Appears in a Living Portrait

by JamesNYCAugust 6. 2014 16:08

Lady Gaga by Robert Wilson - "Ingres"

Lady Gaga posed for nearly 6 hours to appear in Robert Wilson's video portrait, recreating Ingres' 19th century portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière. The moving portrait hung at the Louvre last year and was brought to New York's Watermill Center last month.

xxx

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Annie Leibovitz publishes Her Life’s Work in a Limited Edition Book for only $2,500

by JamesNYCAugust 5. 2014 18:07

Following Helmut Newtons lead and using the same publisher: TASCHEN, Annie Leibovitz publishes Her Life’s Work in a Limited Edition Book that looks strangely like the Helmut Newton book SUMO that was published nearly 15 years ago. Were the Helmut Newton presentation included it's own fold out chromed metal table; Annie's book gets a Tripod on clear plexi treatment. I gotta say that for $2500 it should really be a Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod.

When you’ve captured as many photographs as renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz long and storied career surly made it a difficult task to choose the best works for this publication; consider that fact that she has been Shooting for over 40 years for clients such as: Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

Her latest book is a $2,500, 476-page visual retrospective of her career.

CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW LARGER

Annie Leibovitz has photographed everything from politics to fashion, and Rockstars. This massive book will features her most iconic images, as well as some rare photographs. It is scheduled to be offered in two variations: a $2,500 Collector’s Edition and the $5,000 Art Edition.

Collector’s Edition is limited to 10,000 signed and numbered copies. And the Collector’s Edition willalso  allow you to choose a dust-jacket for your new coffee table book, with 1 of the following images — Whoopi Goldberg (Berkeley, California, 1984), Keith Haring (New York City, 1986), David Byrne (Los Angeles, 1986), and Patti Smith (New Orleans, 1978).

If the Art Edition (which is yet to be released) is more to your liking you will receive the entire collection of dust-jackets, as well as a signed archival print of Leibovitz’s photograph of Keith Haring. This one is limited to 1,000 copies.

Regardless of what edition you choose, you’ll receive a handy little tripod, designed by Marc Newson, that will cleverly hold your book. Rather appropriate considering this baby costs as much as a pro-level DSLR.

If you have a spare $5000 and just need to have one of these books before they appear on eBay or East Village books, you can head on over to the Taschen site and your very own edition. The Art Edition is not yet released, you can still pre-order it to ensure you aren’t left out of the 1,000-copy run.

ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT Annie Leibovitz

 

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PhotoShelter Guide: 10 Branding Secrets for Photographers

by JamesNYCAugust 5. 2014 07:53

What words would you use to describe your photography brand?

Fun? Reliable? Adventurous? If you struggle to answer, our guide, 10 Branding Secrets for Photographers, will help you define and build a strong brand that will set you apart from the competition and attract the clients you want.  

In this guide, you’ll also learn:

  • How to communicate your photographic style and personality

  • How to determine what aspects of your business are unique

  • Why developing a strong name, logo and aesthetic across all platforms is crucial

  • Why a consistent voice and style must be part of everything you do - including your website, social media, and business cards

  • Plus more!

Use these 10 secrets to build a brand that attracts your ideal market, accurately communicates your specialty and creates unique experiences for your clients.

Download your copy today!

~The PhotoShelter Team

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Adobe Develops Guide To Move From Aperture To Lightroom

by JamesNYCAugust 4. 2014 09:12

Last month, Apple announced that they were ceasing development of the beloved Apple Aperture. While the software is still usable and available for purchase and download, it has a timeline on how long it will work, as new camera profiles will no longer be supported. Fortunately, Adobe has made the transition a little easier, with a simple transition guide.

The guide, available for free, will help people move their catalogs and settings from Aperture over to Adobe Lightroom 5 with ease. If you're one of those still grasping on to Aperture, perhaps now is a good time to try out Lightroom 5, which is available for $9.99 along with Adobe Photoshop CC through their Photography Plan.

Click here to view the guide.

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Propane Powered Motor Scooter-Go Clean, Go Green, Go PROGO!

by JamesNYCAugust 4. 2014 08:20

Here is a Kickstarter that we like.

Performance of gas scooter + Eco friendliness of electric scooter = The ProGo 3000 Propane Powered Motor Scooter.

The Inspiration

What inspired us here at ProGo started with a question. "Why are small motor scooters not a popular mode of transportation?" They are easy to carry and store. They are extremely cost efficient, especially with todays high gas costs. They are easy to maintain, cheap to own, and a whole lot of fun!!

So why are motor scooters, CURRENTLY, not a popular mode of transportation? To answer this question we have to take a look into both types of motor scooters currently on the market, electric and gas.

 

READ MORE HERE

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New Photo Show: "From Darkness to Light" Spotlights Photographers Confronting Mental Illness

by JamesNYCAugust 2. 2014 09:46

Rachael Talibart, Into The Mist (2012) Digital photograph, 18" x 12" Edition 1 of 10

An inspiring new photo show explores how photographers confront and, in many cases, overcome depression and mental illness through creating images. Founded in 2012, the Broken Light Collective provides photographers of all skill levels, who are affected by mental health challenges, with a safe and supportive environment in which to display and develop their work.

Alyson Vega, My Enduring Rusty Pier (2011) Digital photograph, 8" x 10" Edition 1 of 10

The new show, titled From Darkness to Light: Photographs by Broken Light Collective, includes selections from the group, which is comprised of over 10,000 photographers from more than 150 countries. The 36 photographers featured in the exhibition come from all over the globe and have been affected by a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, addiction, and autism.

The goal of the group, according to a recent story in the New York Times, is to use the art of photography as an effective means to fight the stigma and raise public awareness while enhancing the lives of those affected by mental illness.

From Darkness to Light is curated by Danielle Hark and presented through the Fountain Gallery Visiting Artists Program.

The show is on display at the Fountain Gallery, Fountain Gallery, 702 Ninth Avenue in New York City until August 13th.

More info and image here.

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Photographing Police Is Legal in Texas, Too, Judge Rules in First Amendment Case

by JamesNYCJuly 29. 2014 10:28

A federal court judge in Texas has rejected an argument that the right to photograph or videotape police officers “is not recognized as a constitutional right,” clearing the way for a citizen’s civil rights claim against the City of Austin, its police chief, and various Austin police officers.

“The First Amendment protects the right to videotape police officers in the performance of their official duties, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane wrote in the decision handed down last week.

The judge also rejected an argument by the defendants that they should be immune from prosecution in the case because the right to photograph police officers performing their duties was not clearly established when they arrested the plaintiff on three separate occasions.

“A robust consensus of circuit courts of appeals that have addressed this issue have concluded that the First Amendment encompasses a right to record public officials as they perform their official duties,” the judge wrote, citing several right-to-record decisions favorable to plaintiffs from around the country.

The plaintiff in the Texas case, Antonio Buehler, was first arrested on January 1, 2012, when he photographed two Austin police officers engaged in a traffic stop in a parking lot. Buehler was refueling his truck nearby when he heard one of the officers yelling, then saw a passenger of the stopped vehicle being “yanked violently” out of the car and thrown to the ground.

Mr. Buehler started taking pictures from a distance, and asked the officers why they were abusing the passenger, according to court papers. One of the officers approached Buehler and arrested him for “resisting arrest, search or transportation” after accusing Buehler of spitting on him, according to court documents.

Buehler filed a complaint with the police, but he alleges that no action was taken. He ended up forming an organization called Peaceful Streets Project to help inform people about their rights “and hold law enforcement accountable.” The organization now routinely video records police officers to prevent and document police brutality, according to court papers.

Mr. Buehler was subsequently arrested for recording the arrest of a man in downtown Austin on August 26, 2012. He was arrested a third time about a month later, also for video recording police performing their duties. Both times he was charged with Interference with Public Duties.

In response, Antonio Buehler sued for violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He also alleged false arrest, excessive force, unlawful search and seizure, and malicious prosecution.

In addition to refusing the city’s motion to throw out Buehler’s federal civil rights claims, Judge Lane sustained his claim for false arrest; his claim that the city and its police chief failed to establish a policy, train, and supervise city police officers about the rights of individuals to record police; and his various state law claims.

But the judge dismissed parts of Buehler’s lawsuit, including claims for malicious prosecution and excessive force, because Buehler’s allegations didn’t meet the legal standards required to sustain those claims.

The ruling was not a final decision on the merits of Buehler’s claims. Instead, it cleared the way for Buehler to continue pursuing the surviving claims.

 

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Color as a Storytelling Device

by JamesNYCJuly 29. 2014 09:56

On his blog, Robert Mills examines the use of color in films as a storytelling device, using examples from Oz the Great and Powerful, Memento, Beauty and the Beast, and more.

He writes, "Color can have political, religious and cultural connotations, represent gender and as believed by Kandisnky, have emotional and physical effects on us. Color can also improve our memory, influence buying decisions, indicate meaning and tell stories. It’s that very last one that interests me most. In this post I want to focus on the use of color as a storytelling device in films."

Color can have political, religious and cultural connotations, represent gender and as believed by Kandisnky, have emotional and physical effects on us. Color can also improve our memory, influence buying decisions, indicate meaning and tell stories. It’s that very last one that interests me most.

In this post I want to focus on the use of color as a storytelling device in films.

READ MORE HERE

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