Could Copyright Have Made A Difference In Custody Battle Over Kids Photos?
from the taker-of-the-photos... dept
The husband gets 75% of the photos or three out of every four on each page of 75 photo albums, DeStefano wrote. His wife gets what's left.If you're wondering why not just make copies, apparently the couple had already paid over $2,000 to scan all the images and have them put onto a CD, but both sides were "unhappy with the quality and demanded originals." It seems like they could have just gone back to whoever scanned the images and demanded higher quality scans, but that's neither here nor there.
"The court finds that the husband was intricately involved with taking, compiling and cataloging the thousands of photos at issue," DeStefano wrote in a case in which the spouses were identified only by initials.
"He equated his collecting of photographs of family with the hobby of collecting rare books."
What struck me about this is you sort of wonder why no one brought up copyright. Technically, whoever took the photos most likely owned the copyright on those photos, and could claim that the photos were his or her right to own. This is one of the more annoying parts of copyright law, but whoever takes the photo often has a strong claim on the copyright, even if the camera is someone else's (remember that the next time you ask your friend -- or, I guess, spouse -- to take a photo for you). So, I would imagine that if the guy took most of the photos, he could just claim copyright on them and keep them from his ex-wife. In the meantime, though, perhaps we should be thankful that copyright was not used in this particular case -- even if the result seems a little silly. There are services that can duplicate photos (not just scan them), and it seems like this whole situation could have been solved without involving a court at all.