News Photographer Wins Major Copyright Victory

There’s been a major victory for photographers in terms of U.S. copyright law. Last week, a Manhattan jury found that two news photo distribution agencies willfully violated photographer Daniel Morel’s copyright when they published eight pictures he made in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake without payment or proper credit. He was awarded damages of $1.22 million. The ruling reinforces the rights of photographers, which is especially important in an era when social media makes it very easy for photographs to spread quickly around the world. Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association, said, "This ruling is important because far too often we find that photographers don’t have the power to stand up to those that infringe with impunity. I hope that this sends a message, but in reality we need a cultural change so that once again photographs are valued." Read more at the New York Times Lens blog.

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