Rights, Technology

Photographer wins $1.3m payout from companies that took images from Twitter

A US federal jury has ordered two media companies to pay $US1.2 million ($1.3m) to a freelance photojournalist for their unauthorised use of photographs he posted to Twitter.

The jury found Agence France-Presse and Getty Images wilfully violated the Copyright Act when they used photos Daniel Morel took in his native Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people, Mr Morel’s lawyer, Joseph Baio, said.

The case is one of the first to address how images that individuals make available to the public through social media can be used by third parties for commercial purposes.

We believe that this is the first time these defendants, or any other major digital licensor of photography, have been found liable for wilful violations of the Copyright Act, Mr Baio said in an email.

Lawyers for AFP and Getty did not immediately respond to requests for comment — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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