back to article Vimeo takedown leads to court loss

An Australian artist, Richard Bell, has won a case against a film-maker who asked Vimeo to remove a film about him. His lawyers say it is “the first time damages have been awarded where a third party had content removed from the Internet without legal justification.” Bell’s law firm King & Wood Mallesons state that Bell “... …

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Anonymous Coward

had he not

paid the film maker his fee?

If I understand it correctly, unless otherwise stated, photographers and film makers may retain the rights over creative content unless those rights were specifically signed away?

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Re: had he not

Yeh, that's normally the way it works. Indeed in a lot of commercial work (magazine illustration etc) the photographer or artist retains copyright and specifically grants a license to particular rights.

There is a lot missing from this report which would serve to explain exactly what happened, or what it's implications are, if any.

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Re: had he not

Agreed the detail is lacking. It would have been interesting to hear how he managed to establish that he was in fact the originator of the work and given that he presumably did, I would have assumed the damages would go against the site that hosted the material for withdrawing it on the instructions of someone who was neither the owner or originator and not the film's producer in this case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: had he not

> I would have assumed the damages would go against the site that hosted the material for withdrawing it on the instructions of someone who was neither the owner or originator and not the film's producer in this case.

The site has no option but to take down the content once somebody issues a takedown notice. It doesn't matter whether the site thinks or knows the takedown notice is bogus they still have to do it.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takedown_notice#Takedown_example

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Re: had he not

Agreed. Sadly it's a tool that's been (ab-)used by organisations such as the scientologists to effectively censor material that might be in some way critical of them.

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Re: had he not

The article says he retained a copy of the film and could have simply re-posted it somewhere else but he'd still have been vulnerable to the other person requesting a take-down from the "somewhere else". Therefore, he had to obtain a definitive court win before this obvious remedy was practical.

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Lacking detail

Insufficient information to determine what was going on. Low vote for this story I'm afraid.

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Interesting story but salient details required to properly interpret the verdict seem to be missing.

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Stop

With regard to the story content

I read this as someone who got a payout of tax payer money for a personal dispute with a website that was outside of the courts jurisdiction.

This should never have been allowed to go to court however given that the US do the same I presume this is a way to say no to the US and thier ideas of world wide jurisdiction.

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LPF

Hmm the way I read this is...

That he paid for someone to make a film about him , and therefore it is his work, as in "work for hire" practice.

The only way this steele person could have copyright is if she suggested h to him that she make a film about him, in which case it would be her copyright.

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LPF

Yes re-reading the story again, he's paid her to make a film about him, so its his property unless , they had a contract stating that she retained copyright.

Looks like she's tried to pull the same stusnt wedding photograhers do, i'e get paid take pictures and retain the copyright to those pictures which is complete balls in my opinion , you get paid to do something , then you dont own it, however if you create it yourself without someone else paying you to do it , then you own it.

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Then you don't understand copyright law

The hired work doctrine doesn't apply here. Copyright rests with the photographer unless signed away (which I'd assume it was as he won).

Most nice wedding photographers will either give you the copyright or (equally commonly) a perpetual worldwide license.

There is a reason the copyright rests with the photographer, and that'd be because it's his work! If your hire contract says you as the employer own the copyright then it's different.

Whether or not it's fair depends on your point of view I guess, personally I generally prefer to retain the copyright and then say "feel free to do what you like" to the customer, but then I'm not photographing Weddings so it's slightly different (bit mean to re-sell photos of someone elses day IMHO).

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Anonymous Coward

ask a photographer why....

"Looks like she's tried to pull the same stusnt wedding photograhers do, i'e get paid take pictures and retain the copyright to those pictures which is complete balls in my opinion "

As a professional photographer its clear you dont understand how it works in the real world.

I will spend hours on each and every photograph to make sure it is perfect. I spend a lot of money on Printers, inks and paper to print a photograph on to. The last thing I want is for my work to end up on Tesco's own photo paper with cheap water based "compatible" inks from ebay, on a 6 year old lexmark printer you got free with your pc. placed on a wall that 3 months later,with all the colour sun-bleached out....

My clients get a DVD with the photos resized suitable for websites & email, but if they want a print, it has to come from my print studio. Copyright remains mine to protect the integrity of my work not my bank balance.

like in any industry, there are the cowboys that work cheap, and you have the professionals who are there to make money.... then you have the true professional, who makes a living, but is in it for the love of the work. its up to you who you commission to do a job, you can either pay to get a job done, pay to get it done right, or pay for it to get done right and to last !

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Re: ask a photographer why....

About 40 years ago my wife and I had a portrait by a local professional photographer without discussion of copyright issues. The presumption is that the photographer, who has died, as far as we can determine without issue, retained the copyright. We have been unable to locate any successor. The photos now are rather badly faded, but we cannot have them reproduced (cannot locate any surviving negatives) and are precluded from having ours copied and enhanced. I will never patronize another professional photographer who will not agree to assign copyright - even perpetual use is insufficient.

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Re: ask a photographer why....

So what? You are being paid (handsomely, if my wedding photos were anything to go by) to produce good photos.

The only way self-produced photos can reflect on your work is is you also (don't get me started on this...really) is if you also slap your fucking logo on each and every one of them.

It's about the money. Don't even try to pretend otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ask a photographer why....

If I pay someone to spend hours working on my car, they do not have the right to then say 'sorry bud, thats my <insert part now> but I'll charge you xxx to be allowed to use it again untill you want another one.

I work with photographers and professional video people and not one person has come accross with this attitude or lame ass excuse. Do you really really care what happens to your images?

Or maybe you are worried that a miniscule chance you might be able to shaft the happy couple for yet more money might escape?

You know why none of the Pros I work with do this btw? Because they know if their customers caught wind of this trick theyd be out of a job. As Moiety said, its all about money, nothing more, nothing less.

BTW I have a DVD of my wedding snaps too, emailable, web resolution ond oh, hang on, my incredibly expensive photographer thoughtfully gave me a little wed app so if if I liked I could order more from him AND included the originals too. How thoughtful.

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Re: ask a photographer why....

@Understandably-AC-photographer:

BAHAHAHAHA! *wipes tear from eye*

So, you insist on retaining copyright "to ensure that they only see the photos in formats which do them justice", do you? Suuuuuuure. And this has nothing at all to do with the fact that your opinion of formats which do the photos justice happens to cover only those copies which you produce and sell, right?

Are you going to try and sell me a bridge next? (Under a contract whereby I'm only allowed to buy prints of photos of the bridge from you, presumably?)

If you can get people to agree to those terms, more power to you. But drop the pretence that it's about the integrity of the work, my sides'll split if I laugh any harder.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ask a photographer why....

The only way self-produced photos can reflect on your work is is you also (don't get me started on this...really) is if you also slap your fucking logo on each and every one of them.

I retain copyright, but I dont put logos on the print. that's just nasty. A sticker on the back of the print is perfectly adequate.

and there is a massive difference between a self print and a professional print.

Has your printer been calibrated for accurate colour reproduction, That means the paper, the ink and printer combination calibrated. what's the DeltaE of your monitor?

the inks for my printer cost over £200 each. the paper costs over £300 per roll, and dont get me started on the price of the printer. then there is the camera, glass and lighting equipment, Software? how much does photoshop cost these days. Then there is the computer system and servers. I would bet my car against yours that any print will look visibly better and last longer than any print you produce on your home print setup !

And that costs money. So yeah, When it comes to price, I do charge a lot for my services. but I do give good value for that money. An lets face it, your spending £30,000 on a wedding, what are you going do? pay some mush with a Epson R300 and a canon eos with a jessops flash, to photograph your wedding for £250, or are you going to spend £3,000 on a professional who is going to use equipment that has cost more than your paying for your wedding, who is going to arrive a week before at the venue to locate the best place to take photographs, or to arrange for the right lighting equipment. spend the time with the clients to make sure you are going to get the set of photographs they want. spend the time to check the colours the bride and groom are going to be in,Have you any Idea how much it costs in insurance premiums alone to cover the cost of my equipment that costs more to buy than my house. The liability insurance is not cheap... ~ Their are so many things a proper photographer will do to get the pictures perfect that your budget tog will not bother with, but its the little things that will make all the difference.

my clients know they can get a reproduction of any of the prints they have already paid for at near enough cost price to me at any time after the event. I store the images secure and off site (in two locations), as well as on a DVD on site and a copy off site. In my contract terms, I retain copyright until my death or retirement, when the copyright passes to the client along with all copies of the images.

Yes, I make a living, and its a good living from my photography work, but dont dare to tell me its just about the money. It funds my passion for photography and gives me the time to be able to travel the world to photograph the wonders of the world. You get to a level in photography and a poor image with your name on it will cost you reputation & money & Clients.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ask a photographer why....

So your photographs are brilliant because your equipment "cost more than your house"? I wish I could afford to buy one of Jimi Hendrix's old stratocasters. Then I'd be the best guitarist in the world.

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Re: ask a photographer why....

You're missing the point somewhat. Decent post-processing, good camera and good quality prints are what you do for a living and -here's the point- what you have already been paid for. You are charging premium prices for a premium product.

Keeping copyright on someone else's images that they commissioned you to take is taking the piss. Sure, if you have the best printer in town then offering the option of reprints is fair enough. If your clients just want to bang off a print to send to a second cousin who they don't like enough to pay your (no doubt expensive, even if you claim to offer it at near-cost) reprint fees; then why should they not have the option?

Your contention that "You get to a level in photography and a poor image with your name on it will cost you reputation & money & Clients." is purest bollocks. Firstly any self-printing is unlikely to be unattributed (unless you have embedded a logo, tagline or copyright notice into the images themselves and that's taking the piss yet again). Secondly, anyone who both recognises your work and gives a shit would presumably be able to tell the difference between your gold-plated work and something plonked out on a £50 Lexmark.

I still maintain that it's all about the money and you haven't said anything to convince me otherwise.

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Re: ask a photographer why....

errata: "unlikely to be unattributed" should read "unlikely to be attributed"

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Re: ask a photographer why....

@the-still-understandably-AC-photographer

I'm not disputing the idea that hiring a professional photographer creates an obviously better product than hiring Our Jimmy With That Cameraphone What Has All Them Megapixies On It.

Nor am I disputing the idea that, for photographers who know their craft, high-quality & often expensive equipment for use on the day and in post-processing is necessary to generate the best possible end result, which is in both the photographer's and clients' best interests.

What I'm disputing is the idea that, once you have taken all the photos and done all the post-processing work to create the initially-agreed-upon set of prints, *you should be the only person allowed to create new prints*.

Only a fool would argue that you shouldn't offer it as a follow-on service, but once you have taken the photos and produced the prints, *that's it*. There's no expectation of a lifelong contract for most people hiring a photographer. Yes, the client should be made to understand that they're unlikely to get anywhere close to the same quality with home equipment, but it's up to them if they want to try. I mean, if the wedding subsequently goes south and the groom decides he wants to print copies of the photos onto cheap bogroll with an inkjet printer, that's his business.

I understand wanting to avoid commercial reuse of your work if you don't have control over it, but that's covered by putting a "no attribution without prior approval" clause in the contract. Beyond that, what you're talking about is establishing a steady revenue stream, not "protecting the integrity of your work". Or do you have some magical reproduction technique that prevents the client from taking a high-res scan of your prints and then doing whatever the smeg they like with them?

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Facepalm

Re: ask a photographer why....

I used to know a photographer who acted just like you. High prices, fancy kit, and complete control over the original pictures. His empty photographic studio with a for sale sign in it just over the road shows just how well that panned out for him. Just man up and offer the original files. Most people will quite happily pay you to take the pictures and produce high quality prints for them, but there's no excuse for not offering the full size pictures on the DVD. Seriously, is it going to cause you that much hassle or lack of earnings if you did? Will your business collapse because someone has decided to print out one of your pictures of them in greyscale, on a piece of yellow A4 paper? I think not.

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Looks straightforward.

Film maker is hired to hold the camera and do leg work for artist. In much the same way a cameraman might work on a Hollywood blockbuster but doesn't have any claim on the copyright of said movie.

Camera operator then takes action and makes allegations that cause quantifiable damage to another person (the artist)

Court decides that camera operator knew their claim was false and makes an order that they pay for the harm they did.

Now if more people would respond to bogus take down notices the same way (if they can prove they suffered a financial loss) then we would see much more care taken when such notices are issued.

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Re: Looks straightforward.

So this will meanthat criminal organisation such as the MPAA/RIAA will have to prove (individualy file by file) that a movie or a song on a P2P site actually result in the lost of a sale.

They will have to prove whitout a doubt that anyone who have download a movie or song from a P2P whould have bought it, it if was not avaible for free.

Any false claim from the MPAA/RIAA could be punished by a billion dollard fine.

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Pirate

Re: Looks straightforward.

I'm waiting for Mr. Dotcom to sue over this, by all accounts he had secured all the rights required for the "megaupload video."

Aye! Hoist the Jolly Rodger an' let's fir a volley a'coss thir bow!

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Re: Looks straightforward.

Hooray for ©opyright Maths! This could be fun!

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This could be a landmark case. maybe in the future it will prevent extremly dangerous terrorist groups such as the MPAA/RIAA to illegally remove content from the net,

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FAIL

You can't be copyright pedants...

Until you establish which country's laws apply.

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