Not sure why you should find the idea that Getty is not a an OSP which qualifies as a safe harbor 'troubling', Mike. OCILLA is fairly clear in its defintion of a service provider. Furthermore 17 USC § 512(k)(1)(a) says "the term “service provider” means an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received." (my emphasis). Getty fails on two counts. Firstly the user first submits their pictures to Getty for editorial scrutiny so does not submit directly to the website (as is the case with Youtube or Flickr). And secondly, Getty applies tracking metadata and a visual copyright notice on each image before it goes up on the site, so modifying the original submission.
Anon @ 11.25. Since any dispute over infringement is most likely to occur outside Libya, the importanty fact is that Libya is a signatory of the Berne Convention. Berne stipulates that there is to be no mandatory registration of copyright (one of the reasons the US did not join until March 1989), and in any case the 1968 Libyan Copyright law says that although copies of a work have to be lodged with the Ministry of Information and Culture (and there is a penalty for not doing this) "Non-depositing shall not result in prejudicing the copyrights stipulated by this law. These provisions do not apply to works of art published in newspapers and periodicals, unless they were published separately."*
Therefore the statement that "nobody owns the right because the work hasn't been registered" is untrue.
While I entirely agree that this decision (not to dismiss) is a bad one, it does not mean that at trial this will go against Rihanna, merely that the issues will be tested in court as opposed to being left in uncertainty. Clearly if the court finds against Rihanna, that would be a bad development.
But John William Nelson's assertion that photographs are just mechanical copies of facts is equally wrong-headed. Clearly he has very little understanding of modern day photography which can, and usually does, involve a great deal of digital (ie electronic) manipulation. This tinkering with the 'facts' is similar to what an artist does when representing a scene on canvas. True photography is much like writing: the photographer chooses the visual elements he wants in the same way a writer chooses his words, Words alone or single musical notes are pretty much like facts; but once they are assembled in a particular way using skill and labor, they then become the expression of the author's ideas. I could provide dozens of examples of two photographs which show the same 'facts' but because of the way they have been cropped, lit and presented to the viewer, represent utterly different intrepretations of those facts. The camera is to the photographer what the brush is to the artist or the pen is to the writer.
While I agree that Scotland does have a separate legal system, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 applies throughout the UK and therefore decisions in higher courts are binding on the Scottish courts. The UK Supreme Court is just that: the topmost court in the entire judiciary for the UK, just as SCOTUS is the USA.
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by Andy J.