NSA Infringed Adam Hart-Davis' Photograph For Its PRISM Logo

from the uh-oh dept

Perhaps the NSA has finally met its match: copyright infringement. You may have seen the logo that the NSA is using for the PRISM program (shown here upside down for a reason that will become clear shortly):
Well, it turns out that the prism image that they used is being used without permission. The photo was actually taken by Adam Hart-Davis, a well-known BBC presenter. You can see the original below:

Photo by Adam Hart-Davis/DHD Multimedia Gallery
As Adam's son, Damon, notes in the link above, the image is free for use via his gallery under some simple terms, including acknowledging the author. Damon jokingly suggests asking the NSA for a small donation, though he worries about any undue attention from the folks at the NSA.

Of course, in a country where copyright laws trump all, perhaps Damon could sue for infringement and seek discovery to find out all the documentation on PRISM.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    All our problems are solved.

    The DoJ will make quick work of...


    ... damn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Gothenem (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    lol

    Umm, this is sort of funny. If he goes to court claiming infringement, and the courts find that the use of the image is not infringing, it will put a huge hole in the current copyright regime and set the MAFIAA against the government.

    On the other hand, if the image IS found to be infringing, then specific organization that uses the image can be on the hook for a nice chunk of change (not that they couldn't afford the 150,000 dollar statuatory fee). Of course, he could go for ACTUAL damages, and get a percentage of all money made under the PRISM program, which would require discovery on the program, to find out how much money was made on it.

    Ahhh, irony....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    andrew_duane (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    That's strike 1

    1 down, 5 more strikes to go. I wonder how you would go about disconnecting the NSA from the Internet?

    :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Alt0, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Silly Rabbit...
    The government is obviously exempt from its own laws.
    Have you not learned anything in the past few days?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    Re:

    Ah, but that's criminal law the government exempts itself from (mainly by refusing to prosecute itself). In civil law, the plaintiff is the one who decides whether or not to file.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    I feel bad for Damon he will be have to endure enhanced searches for a long time anywhere he goes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Andreas (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: lol

    It's a good strategy, Kurt Gödel did this successfully, let the system break itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: That's strike 1

    NSA Employee: Ok, time to log into the NSA server to perform my nefarious dee...what the?

    FBI Badge? Domain seized!? Copyright Infringement!???

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    I stay here just the lolz as Meltdown Mike gets desperate.


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!
    04:39:22[f-522-4]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    Yeah. Especially since the target of the article was not Copyright.

    Way to drop the ball Mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Jesus Motherfuckingeagles Christ, don't these guys realize that's the worst possible sin anyone can commit? This is a bigger scandal than spying and harvesting the personal data of every single American!
    We need to immediately and posthaste raid their servers and railroad these guys into jail for this heinous crime!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    Erm Mike is actually not attacking copyright which would be clear if you READ THE DAMN ARTICLE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    "Damon jokingly suggests asking the NSA for a small donation, though he worries about any undue attention from the folks at the NSA. "

    They can't do that. Not unless they want to violate point 3 of the Terms and Conditions:

    3. Don't sell or steal our stuff, or be nasty to us.

    I doubt an entity like the NSA would risk doing something like that and damage their public image.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Let's see here...
    1 trillionth of one cent for each time the image is used...
    multiplied by Copyright Cartel math...
    equals out to roughly 14 times all the money of the world.

    Can someone check my math?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Leave it to Mike to find some way to connect his anti-copyright hobby-horse to this story.






    Did I get it right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Re: lol

    Amazing, Republicans can't get ANYTHING right!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    "Leave it to Mike to find some way to connect his anti-copyright hobby-horse to this story.
    Did I get it right?"

    No, boy, you didn't.

    Mike is pointing out that the government's use of the artwork VIOLATES its own copyright laws!
    If intelligence were a virus,you'd be disease-free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Your sarcasm meter is busted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re: That's strike 1

    Yes. When will those pirating creatives in the NSA Audio-Visual Department realize that sharing is outright theft? And don't hand me that 'transformative use' crapola - that's just a freetard defense.


    /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re:

    Trolling these last few days has been trending more towards the topic of milk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re:

    Got milk?



    Come on, it had to be done :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Tip of the iceberg...

    I'll bet they stored all those old ringback songs and on-hold music too, the dirty, voyeuristic pirates.

    And since we're probably sharing this data with other "free" nations, the back license fees and statutory damages will both bankrupt the government, and pay for the production of a single new blockbuster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Rich, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    It's fair use, but the reasons are classified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re:

    No, boy, you didn't.
    Apparently, I did. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Ok, let's take a page out of the pro-copyright book and see if it applies.

    1) Rampant copyright infringement is funneling money into the hands of terrorists.
    2) The NSA is committing copyright infringement.

    Therefore...
    The NSA is contributing to terrorism!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Glen, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No milk here, that stuff is getting expensive. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Phoenix84 (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    3. Don't sell or steal our stuff, or be nasty to us.
    4. Don't use our stuff to deceive or mislead others.

    Hmm, I think the NSA has violated both points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    Hmm... fight terrorism with one arm, and uphold it with the other... isn't this the same basic strategy we used to justify the endless "war on drugs" and its component chilling effects? You might have been kidding, but it wouldn't be the first time if someone claimed some of our government agencies were in bed with Al quaeda.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Same here in Ireland. I blame the loss of cows due to the fodder shortage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re:

    No. We fight the war on drugs "for the children".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Damon should call John Steele to get help drafting a letter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Erm...I think they DID have permission

    I'm upset about the NSA snooping too, but fair's fair - I think they're in the clear on the copyright thing.

    From http://gallery.hd.org/terms.html:
    The creators of these Gallery images ... grant you the following non-exclusive rights to use them for any reasonable commercial or non-commercial purpose:
    ... followed by a list of conditions that NSA doesn't seem to have violated. It says:
    You acknowledge the author, including in derivative works, if possible with a caption of the form...
    Emphasis mine. I don't see how they can be expected to include a link in JPG image of a PowerPoint slide. So I think they're in the clear on this.

    Much as I dislike the snooping, I'm actually pleased that the NSA seems to have made an effort to find a freely released graphic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    This beges the question which I hate more: Pushy invasion of privacy or our overbearing intellectual property laws.

    I think my head is going to explode.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    Ha - irony of ironies.

    I realized I said the NSA was "in the clear". Get it? NSA "in the clear"? I bet THAT doesn't happen very often!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Machin Shin (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    "grant you the following non-exclusive rights to use them for any reasonable commercial or non-commercial purpose:"


    I don't know about you but I think the "any reasonable" part of that excluded any use by the NSA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    Touche.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re: Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    I can just lolz as out_of_the_bob continues to not read the articles and copy+paste the same few attack comments with no basis before fleeing to another article to do it again. You poor, downs-ridden child

    take a creepy tour of out_of_the_blue's basement! You can always find new types of barnyard animals that are begging to not be violated!

    If out_of_the_blue supports copyright, why is his house decorated with all that infringing Nazi paraphernalia? Doesn't he know that the copyright on that extends to 80 years after Hitler's death?

    Take him the same as I do: out_of_his_mind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Vidiot (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, in the US, this weekend is Fodder's Day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    dennis deems (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    I don't agree with your interpretation at all.
    You acknowledge the author, including in derivative works, if possible with a caption of the form:
    Author Name/DHD Multimedia Gallery

    You might improve this with a link to the lobby of the Gallery ...
    PowerPoint is perfectly capable of displaying captions and hyperlinks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    I haven't seen the original PowerPoint slides - just JPGs of them. Have you? (The metadata would be interesting.)

    Anyway, putting an acknowledgement and caption on every use of a logo is hardly practical. And it says "if possible".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    > PowerPoint is perfectly capable of displaying captions and hyperlinks.

    Tell that to a part of the US army. THEY RECENTLY DISCOVERED LOWER CASE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    Congratulations out_of_the_blue, you have just been named the unofficial inventor of the

    Frequently Asserted Proposition fallacy.

    BUT WAIT, that's not all.

    Not only is ootb famous for FAP, he is in fact considered by many to be the most REGULAR and FLUENT purveyor of FAP on the internet today.

    Let's all sing his song to cheer him one, "FAP, FAP, FAP, FAPPity FAPFAPFAPFAP"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Damn pirates they are inside the NSA now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: That's strike 1

    Notice signed - M. F. Eagles

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I need a "Sad Mexican Trumpet" button.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And the war on children for the drugs
    And the war on piracy for the lobbyists
    And the war on laws for the terrorists
    The war on the poor however is just for the lulz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: That's strike 1

    LOL !
    They should get Sued for a Billion Dollars too !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Your lamest article ever to try and attack copyright.

    I'm pretty sure it(blue) did. Word/Context comprehension is the problem here, as well as an inability to differentiate between false positives and actual reality. It's why i come back from time to time, just to see what kind of "pattern identification" blue(and others, their funny) will make up next. Nicest thing to say? "why, blue, you've quite the imagination!"

    lol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    "Did I get it right?"

    I think I can do better ...

    "This pro-copyright article is doing a bad job of being against copyright."

    If even that is too obtuse, I can always just post "milk it," blindly cheering the fact that posts appear on the blog at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Erm...I think they DID have permission

    "I don't see how they can be expected to include a link in JPG image of a PowerPoint slide. "

    The terms don't require a link. They require acknowledgement, which can very easily be offered on a PowerPoint slide.

    We have a law so convoluted the NSA doesn't know if they violated it or not, and now you have published a long, thoughtful post based on a misunderstanding of your own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Gothenem (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    So the government is immune to copyright infringement? I can see torrent downloaders by the score sitting in front of the White House, gobbling up Wi-Fi to download movies, and be free of prosecution, because the Whitehouse IP address is immune to copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    But. The. Pirates!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

    It's not that the government is exempt from the law, it's that Obama will simply have anyone who tries to press too hard "disappeared"....as has happened previously with assassinations inside and outside the mainland US

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: That's strike 1

    Or Mr. F.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:13pm

    Re:

    you forgot to carry the 1.
    it is equal to all the money in the world plus $1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:16am

    Re:

    The NSA used an image without permission, so now they're pirates. So yeah, we are stopping pirates. All of them. Including the ones you happen to like.

    Or are the NSA called "privateers" now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    dsk, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    Have you not learned anything in the past?
    ftfy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Allow me, gents:

    All that is now
    All that is gone
    All that's to come
    and everything under the sun is in tune
    but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

    --Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, 1973

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Oblate (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: lol

    He might have a difficult time proving infringement- after all, the NSA did find the logo on their computer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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