by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, louis psihoyos, photographs

bbc, cbs, intel

Oscar Winner Sues BBC & CBS For Copyright Infringement Of His Photo

from the something's-missing dept

THREsq has an interesting story about how the guy, Louie Psihoyos, who won an Oscar for best documentary this year for The Cove, apparently has a pretty quick legal trigger finger against anyone using a photograph he took 15 years ago. He's sued a bunch of companies over the years, and the latest is the BBC and CBS. He claims that it cost him $100,000 to create the photograph, which can be seen here:
Psihoyos Image
And, yes, THREsq is showing the photo as well. In these two cases, it seems like clear fair use, since we're both reporting on the photo itself. However, where the BBC potentially got into trouble is in using the same photo to illustrate an article about Intel betting on TV and video content. What's odd, however, is that the reason CBS is being sued is "that CBS Marketing appropriated it for commercial display at the 2009 Intel Developers Forum." This makes me wonder if CBS Marketing used the image at the event that the BBC was reporting on, leading the BBC to believe it had the ability to use that image. That could make the legal fight a bit more interesting.

However, the article also notes that Psihoyos has sued a bunch of times in the past over this photo as well. For example, a year ago, he sued Apple for the second time over this photo. While that lawsuit was eventually settled, the details suggest that Psihoyos was barking up the wrong tree on that lawsuit. It wasn't a case of Apple using the image, but a random iPhone app developer. You would think that Apple would have a clear DMCA safe harbor response, which would protect it from such a lawsuit, so I'm a bit surprised they ended up settling.

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  1. icon
    JackSombra (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 4:02am

    No safe harbour for the app store

    How would apple have DMCA safe harbour protection?

    Anything and everything that can appear on the app store has to be approved by them beforehand (and they charge for this) and then they make a direct percentage based profit from any sales of that app.

    This very process removes their safe harbour protection and makes them a retailer, not a “service provider” which is who the safe harbour protections were designed for

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