A jury has awarded photographer Daniel Morel $1.2 million in damages after deciding that Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Getty Images willfully violated his copyright. The award is the maximum amount of statutory damages possible under the law. AFP and Getty Images were also found liable for 16 violations of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The verdict was read in Federal Court in Manhattan this afternoon, Morel’s attorney, Joseph Baio confirmed.
Throughout the trial, which began on November 13, attorneys for Getty Images and AFP had argued that the distribution of Morel’s images was not willful infringement but the result of mistakes. Lawyers for AFP and Getty Images had suggested an award of $275,000. That amount was based on a photographer’s day rate of $275 multiplied by 1,000, attorney Joseph Baio told Rangefinder’s Lindsay Comstock.
The case began in 2010 when Morel alerted AFP and Getty Images that they were distributing his exclusive images of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti without his permission; Morel received no payment for the use of his images. A Federal Court judge ruled in January that AFP, which originally distributed his images, had infringed his copyright. The jury trial that was to determine whether or not the infringement was willful, and what statutory damages should be awarded to Morel.
Lindsay Comstock at Rangefinder reports that Morel’s lawyer described the photographer as “delighted” with the verdict, while the defense was “dumbfounded.”
South African photographer Sam Nzima, whose iconic photograph (right) from a Soweto uprising in 1976 helped turn world opinion against apartheid, died Saturday in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, according to press reports. He was 83. Nzima’s famous photograph showed a distraught 18-year-old named Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the dead body of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, a student... More ›
Photographer Duane Michals has had a long, successful career as both a fine artist and commercial shooter. When we asked him for a 2016 PDN story about how successful photographers overcome their self-doubt, he shared this empathetic advice for building confidence in yourself, and your work. “Self-doubt? I don’t understand it myself. Creativity always has... More ›
Gear is fun to play with and fun to buy, but it diverts money from more important things (marketing, for instance) and it can lead you to financial trouble. Accountants and veteran photographers will tell you: Avoid buying more than the minimum amount of gear, unless you can rent it to clients and recover your... More ›