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.

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Comments on “NSA Infringed Adam Hart-Davis' Photograph For Its PRISM Logo”

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62 Comments
Gothenem (profile) says:

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….

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Jason says:

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”

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

“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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

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.

dennis deems (profile) says:

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.

Milton Freewater says:

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.

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