All posts tagged: AFP v Morel

Getty Images disappointed at $1.2m Morel verdict

Last Friday, a jury handed a landmark ruling in one of the industry’s most important legal case, finding that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images had wilfully infringed on Daniel Morel’s copyright after it sourced from Twitter and distributed the photographer’s images of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The jury awarded Morel $1.2m in damages, putting to an end a 46-month legal battle. “I think it’s fair to say that we we’re disappointed with the amount,” Getty Images’s general counsel John Lapham now tells BJP in a phone interview. “I also think it’s disappointing that it took three years to get to this point, but Morel had committed himself to achieving a certain degree of notoriety and now that he got it he should enjoy it.” As BJP reported in 2011, both Agence France-Presse and Getty Images tried to settle the case out-of-court, to no avail. “At Getty Images, we’re very interested in the proper attribution of all of our images, and we’ve spent the last three years improving our systems and our processes to prevent this type of error from happening …

2013-12-11T11:05:42+00:00

AFP v Morel: Judge reconsiders potential damages

Agence France-Presse and Getty Images have asked a New York court to reconsider its decision to reject summary judgement in regards to the statutory damages freelance photographer Daniel Morel can claim. The request for reconsideration concerns whether “Morel could be entitled to recover one statutory award per work infringed from AFP and one from Getty, for a total of two awards per work infringed,” writes District Judge Alison J Nathan. Both companies infringed on eight of Morel’s images. The photographer argues that “he should be allowed to seek one statutory award from AFP for its wrongful misappropriation and downstream licensing for every infringed work and one award from Getty for each of Morel’s photographs that it licensed after AFP directed Getty to remove the images from all of its systems and to stop using or licensing the works,” the judge summarises. In effect, Morel argues that he should be entitled to claim 16 statutory damages awards, while AFP and Getty say he should only be allowed to claim eight awards. In a decision presented on …

2013-12-11T11:57:59+00:00

AFP v Morel case to be judged in September

Three years after Daniel Morel entered litigation against Agence France-Presse and Getty Images over the unauthorised distribution of some of his images, a trial date has been set. On 16 September, a jury will be asked to rule on some of the outstanding claims in what could become a landmark case for photographers. The legal entanglements started in mid-2010 when Agence France-Presse sued freelance photographer Daniel Morel accusing the freelance photographer of engaging in an “antagonistic assertion of rights” when he complained that some of his images of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake had been used without authorisation. When the disaster hit, Morel was in Port-au-Prince. According to a counter-claim the photographer filed against AFP, Morel spent most of that day photographing. With the help of a friend, he created a Twitter account in the username PhotoMorel, where he posted, through the Twitpic service, 13 images he had taken. Morel accuses AFP of distributing and selling his images without prior permission, and has countersued, alleging that AFP had violated the Copyright Act of 1976, the …

2014-07-03T12:42:31+00:00

Agence France-Presse infringed on photographer’s copyright in landmark Twitter case

The case, launched in early 2011 by Agence France-Presse against freelance photographer Daniel Morel, is moving forward, as district judge Alison J Nathan has found in summary judgment that the news agency, as well as The Washington Post, did not have the right to distribute Morel’s images of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. When the disaster hit, Morel was in Port-au-Prince. According to a counter-claim the photographer filed against AFP, Morel spent most of that day photographing. With the help of a friend, he created a Twitter account in the username PhotoMorel, where he posted, through the Twitpic service, 13 images he had taken. Morel accuses AFP of distributing and selling his images without prior permission, and has countersued, alleging that AFP had violated the Copyright Act of 1976, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Lanham Act. Morel also brought those claims against Getty Images, which has a worldwide distribution deal with AFP, and a range of other media organisations, including The Washington Post, all of which also used Morel’s images without authorisation. In this week’s landmark …

2013-12-11T12:13:15+00:00

Agence France-Presse infringed on photographer’s copyright in landmark Twitter case

The case, launched in early 2011 by Agence France-Presse against freelance photographer Daniel Morel, is moving forward, as district judge Alison J Nathan has found in summary judgment that the news agency, as well as The Washington Post, did not have the right to distribute Morel’s images of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. When the disaster hit, Morel was in Port-au-Prince. According to a counter-claim the photographer filed against AFP, Morel spent most of that day photographing. With the help of a friend, he created a Twitter account in the username PhotoMorel, where he posted, through the Twitpic service, 13 images he had taken. Morel accuses AFP of distributing and selling his images without prior permission, and has countersued, alleging that AFP had violated the Copyright Act of 1976, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Lanham Act. Morel also brought those claims against Getty Images, which has a worldwide distribution deal with AFP, and a range of other media organisations, including The Washington Post, all of which also used Morel’s images without authorisation. In this week’s landmark …

2013-12-11T12:13:29+00:00

More than $120,000,000 at stake in AFP v. Morel case

Last week, freelance photographer Daniel Morel, as well as Agence France-Presse and Getty Images have submitted memoranda of law for summary judgment in their long-standing legal case, providing unprecedented insight into both parties’ strategies to emerge victorious. In US law, the purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when the facts of the case are not in dispute. Both parties must then file with a court a memorandum of law in support of summary judgment. The memoranda, which BJP has obtained, present the case’s facts as seen by both parties. On 12 January 2010, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti killing an estimated 316,000 people. Daniel Morel, a freelance photographer under a distribution contract with Corbis, was in Port-au-Prince’s central street, Grande Rue, when the quake struck. “Narrowly escaping injury, he hit the streets to photograph the death and destruction around him,” his legal representative recount in a preliminary statement. Returning to his hotel, he uploaded his photographs, as quickly as possible, on Twitter. It was 6.13pm when the first image hit the social …

2013-12-11T12:18:18+00:00

AFP v. Morel: Both parties moving for summary judgment

The high-profile case pitting freelance photographer Daniel Morel against Agence France-Presse and Getty Images is continuing, BJP understands, as all parties are now filling papers for summary judgment. In US law, the purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when the facts of the case are not in dispute. BJP has learnt that photographer Daniel Morel and AFP and Getty Images have until 05 April to file with the court their Joint Statement of Undisputed Material Facts. Then, on 20 April, the court, led by Judge William H Pauley III, will convene to set a briefing schedule, which could lead to AFP’s and Getty Images’ defense to be dismissed, setting the stage for Morel to claim damages for the unauthorised used of his images. In December 2010, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York declined AFP’s requests to dismiss Morel’s claims against the agency. Morel accused the agency of benefiting from the illegal distribution of images he took of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and posted on Twitter. AFP, on the other hand, …

2013-12-11T12:18:27+00:00

AFP v. Morel trial date set

CNN has joined the ABC and CBS networks in settling its case against Daniel Morel over the “illegal distribution and use” of images the freelance photographer took of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. According to people familiar with the case, CNN has agreed to settle with Morel for an undisclosed amount. In early 2010, CNN had joined ABC, CBS, as well as Agence France Presse and Getty Images in accusing Morel of engaging in an “antagonistic assertion of rights” for claiming the news organisations had no right to use and distribute his images. However, in December 2010, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York declined Agence France Presse’s and other parties’ requests to dismiss Morel’s claims against the agency. In its ruling, the court found that the photographer could go ahead with his claims based on the Copyright Act and the Millennium Copyright Act – a decision that significantly strengthened Morel’s case. While CNN has settled, BJP can confirm that Morel’s case against Agence France Presse and Getty Images continues, and should be tried in court in …

2013-12-11T12:22:34+00:00

AFP v. Morel continues as case moves to discovery phase

The high-profile case pitting freelance photographer Daniel Morel against Agence France Presse and Getty Images is continuing, BJP has been told. In December 2010, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York declined Agence France Presse’s requests to dismiss Morel’s claims against the agency. Morel accuses the agency of benefiting from the illegal distribution of images he took of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Agence France Presse, on the other hand, accuses Morel of engaging in an “antagonistic assertion of rights,” and has also sued the photographer. However, in its December ruling, the court found that the photographer could go ahead with his claims based on the Copyright Act and the Millennium Copyright Act – a decision that significantly strengthened Morel’s case. BJP understands that all parties are now engaged in what is referred to, in American law, as the discovery stage. Discovery “is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the opposing party by means of discovery devices including requests for answers to interrogatories, …

2013-12-11T12:22:49+00:00

Daniel Morel reacts to World Press Photo win

Daniel Morel has received First Prize in the Spot News Stories category, as well as Second Prize in the Spot News Singles for his iconic images of the Haiti earthquake – the same images that appeared, more than one year ago, on Agence France Presse’s feed without authorisation and are now at the centre of an intense legal fight with Agence France Presse, Getty Images and other parties. Speaking to BJP, Morel says: “My thoughts go to Haiti and all the victims of the earthquake and their families. It is a great honor to have received this recognition from my peers.” He adds: “Our role is important as independent photojournalist to tell the story as it is. I was there to document accurately this tremendous tragedy for future generations.” Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments for Getty Images and a member of this year’s World Press Photo jury, also praised the images. “They are very fine images,” he told BJP on Friday 11 February. “Legally, I couldn’t comment more – I judged the images put in front …

2013-12-11T12:22:56+00:00

BJP Staff