Written by Nick Heer.

Photographer Wins $1.2 Million From Companies That Took Pictures Off Twitter

Joseph Ax, Reuters:

The jury found that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images willfully 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, Morel’s lawyer, Joseph Baio, said. […]

An editor at AFP discovered Morel’s photos through another Twitter user’s account and provided them to Getty. The photos were then widely disseminated to Getty’s clients, including several television networks and the Washington Post.

It’s a great result for Morel, and sets a good precedent, but it’s disappointing that this needed to go to court in the first place. There’s no way that a company which deals with licensing its own intellectual property on a regular basis, like Getty does, had no idea about the copyright status on these photos.