Getty Images Tries To Copyright Troll 2600 Magazine Over Content It Has No Copyright Over

from the total-failure dept

So, we were just discussing Getty Images' latest foray into ridiculous copyright trolling (something the company has a long history with), by demanding money for a meme image used on a blog. Today, we have another example of Getty Images copyright trolling that is even worse. It's so bad, that Getty Images doesn't even have a legitimate copyright claim here at all, let alone abusing a legitimate copyright to shakedown someone. The target? The famed hacker publication 2600, which a Getty subsidiary, Trunk Archive, claimed was infringing on one of its images. The cover is actually from 2600's Spring 2012 issue, which you can see below:
Already we have a slight problem in that the statute of limitations on copyright in the US is... three years. Spring of 2012? Yeah, once we hit, say, June of this year, that ship had sailed. So it seems doubly odd that Trunk Archive began its shakedown in August of 2015.
But, of course, you might be wondering what the hell is infringing in that image -- especially when you learn that this is the image that Trunk claims is infringing:
Yeah, those two images look nothing alike. Except, the eagle eyed among you may notice that the ink splotches in the lower right corner of the 2600 cover look like the ink splotches in the upper lefthand corner of this image. Yup, it's a match:
Okay. So, now, even if that lower image is covered by a copyright held by Getty Images (or where it's representing the copyright holder), this is already a ridiculously weak claim. Using the corner splotches of one image on a totally different image? I think there's a pretty strong fair use claim here. Like, insanely strong.

But, the story is even worse than that. Because Getty doesn't hold the copyright (or represent the copyright holder) for those splotches. That's because the artist who created 2600's cover kept track of how that image was created, and noted that he was actually using this splotch painting from a Finnish artist who goes by the username Loadus on Deviant Art -- and it appears that whoever took the photograph of that dude standing in front of a painting was using that same image. In other words, whatever copyright there is in those splotches belongs to that Finnish artist Loadus, and not the photographer who took the image of some dude standing in front of it. Here, 2600 has overlaid the situation on the full painting:
So even if Getty/Trunk is legitimately representing the photographer of that image, it is not representing the artist who made the painting in the background that also produced the splotches used by 2600 -- and even if it was, this is clearly fair use and beyond the statute of limitations. As 2600 notes:
So not only is Trunk Archive trying to scare people into paying them for images, but they're apparently doing this for images they have absolutely no connection to. This insanity needs to end. In the first place, our use of such an image easily qualifies as a transformative work under the fair use doctrine. The absurdly minimal amount of the image used also would qualify it for protection. And then there's the little fact that they have no right to be telling anyone what to do with this image in the first place since they don't even own it. By their own rules, they ought to be cutting a sizable check to Loadus for what are undoubtedly countless uses of his art.

It's indeed impressive that Trunk Archive managed to match these little ink splotches. That's where the coolness factor ends. We cannot tolerate artists being threatened for creating derivative or transformative works. If this were to stand consistently, all forms of art would soon grind to a halt as none could be created without constantly paying off these people. Most others aren't like us - they aren't lucky enough to have lots of people defending them and spreading the word. What happens in their cases is that they are forced to either pay up, be hounded, or hire an attorney that will wind up costing more than the settlement being demanded. If we allow that to happen, creative expression will suffer across the board.

For now, calling attention to these abuses is what's needed. Joining with existing legal action or beginning new challenges to stop this sort of thing in the future is essential. We intend to continue with all of this. We thank Trunk Archive for opening our eyes to this abuse and helping to get us actively involved.
So that's twice this week that we're seeing Getty Images act not just like a typical copyright troll, but one that is so drunk with shakedown power that it's not even bothering to understand just what the fuck it's doing. But, of course, the company can get away with this kind of stuff because (1) there's no punishment for abusing the law in this manner and (2) many sites will probably just pay up rather than deal with the legal threats. It's legalized extortion, and Getty is profiting from it at the expense of actual creators. In yesterday's post, Getty gave some bullshit answer about protecting the rights of the artist. What's its excuse going to be this time?

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 9:56am

    Typical

    Copyright trolls are among the worst of hypocrites. "Do as I say, not as I do" is the standard, not the exception.

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  • identicon
    president of a very scarey large l33t hax0r org, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:11am

    BUSTED

    Oh btw by there logic the united hackers association residing in canada ( DONT LOOK server is only on by member request)

    has hosted the entire lot of these sicne they became available YEARS AND YEARS AGO

    the owners are the publisher of the magazine

    and if law changes to tpp rights then as copyright exists at time of creation in canada / publication then we own said rights in perpetuity until said time as the orphaned owner proves they are his or hers....

    ta ta on anyone else trying this crap ive 3300 actual members not paying dues...if i need a lawyer i might have to ask for a lil....i'll get it.

    AND in case your real stupid we exist in 64 countries with internet access around the world.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:12am

    In yesterday's post, Getty gave some bullshit answer about protecting the rights of the artist. What's its excuse going to be this time?

    Stay tuned for more tomorrow?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:15am

    While I generally agree with the sentiment of the article, there is an error with regard to the statute of limitations. The three year clock doesn't start with the publishing of the allegedly infringing work, it starts with when the rightsholder discovers or "could reasonably have been expected" to discover the infringement, i.e. the date of the first shakedown letter.

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  • identicon
    Christenson, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:16am

    Criminal or Civil Fraud, Anyone?

    I think its time for a lawsuit against Getty Images. The letter constitutes fraud, and damages are due the victims.

    Hey, what would happen if I sent Getty Images the same letter? One kind of justice, right?

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:17am

    This is why we need . . .

    This is why we need a Statutory Fine of $150,000 per bogus copyright troll shakedown.

    And per bogus DMCA takedown.

    If the pro-copyright crowd is really trying to protect their artists (yeah right), then they would know exactly what work the artist had created, and how it was misused. In this case the artist (eg photographer) would know that the background was not his own work, but was from another source.

    This kind of thing needs to BITE WITH REAL TEETH trolls like Getty who make such false claims. If they are going to claim you have stolen something, they have a duty to be really sure.

    Copyright maximallists seem to think it everyone else's duty to be really sure of the copyright provenance of everything everyone else uses. Why don't they have the same duty when they make a claim?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:26am

      Re: This is why we need . . .

      Copyright maximallists seem to think it everyone else's duty to be really sure of the copyright provenance of everything everyone else uses. Why don't they have the same duty when they make a claim?

      Because copyright lasts so long that the necessary records are missing; along with the problem that they have not got used to the idea that people can publish without giving them the copyright. Also note that they hate permissive licenses because they might not have exclusive rights over a work that they publish.

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

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: This is why we need . . .

        If they don't like permissive licenses. Then they should be the ones who do not use works under those licenses. What is so hard about that?

        If I want exclusive rights over something I publish, like source code, then I will make sure all my copyright ducks are in a row. All i's dotted, t's crossed. If I use other source code that is under permissive licenses, then I will make sure I comply fully with those licenses to the letter. Every single line of code must be either (1) something I write myself, or (2) something that I absolutely have a proper license for. (Not something from GitHub which has no license, or something out of a magazine article.) And item 2, licensed code, can just as well mean commercial licensed code that is license compatible with everything else I may be using.

        Why should it be any different for copyright trolls to fully document the copyright on every pixel in their photograph, just as I would do for every line of code?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re: This is why we need . . .

          The length of copyright is such that they probably need contracts that pre-date the typewriter to actually document what they own, so they assume that if they publish it they own the copyright.

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

          • icon
            DannyB (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 1:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is why we need . . .

            If they want to make that assumption that's fine. I just think there should be some significant statutory damages for falsely making that assumption. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If they don't want the penalty, then they should properly know exactly what rights they own, and to what -- just as they expect everyone else to know.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:27am

    I think there's a pretty strong fair use claim here. Like, insanely strong.
    I don't. In fact, I think 2600 hundred would be a lot better off arguing that they and Trunk/Getty each have a non-exclusive licence. After all, as Loadus states under the image in question: Free for non-commercial/commercial use. Feel free to post on your blogs etc.
    Crediting is not required, but would be nice.

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    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      Above comment is mine, but I didn't realise my Techdirt cookie was gone.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      Fair use doesn't really matter at this point. so far, no one with any rights has initiated any action.

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

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I stated that any fair use argument is unnecessary since both uses were licensed, the fair use mention is in the italicised portion I quoted from the article.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      … arguing that they and Trunk/Getty each have a non-exclusive licence.
      Clearly Trunk/Getty is arguing that they have an exclusive right.

      Does Loadus have a slander-of-title action in either Washington or New York?

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

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Possibly, or just arguing that 2600 copied part of the work they hosted rather than the far more plausible explanation that both parties used part of a non-exclusively licensed work. Copyfraud either way.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          … slander-of-title…
          Possibly…
          Without looking it up in either state, I expect that there would be a need to prove special damages.

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

          • icon
            Sheogorath (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 4:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I was actually responding to the idea that Trunk is claiming that they have an exclusive licence to use the original work, but forgot to quote the sentence in question because dyslexia. Sorry. :(

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 4:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              … Trunk is claiming that they have an exclusive licence to use the original work…
              The demand letter avers copyright infringement. That averment has two basic elements:
              1. the plaintiff is the owner of a valid copyright; and

              2. the defendant copied original elements from the copyrighted work.

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

              • icon
                Sheogorath (profile), 10 Sep 2015 @ 5:36am

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

                The idea I was referring to was in the comment to which I replied, not the article. I think you need to read more carefully.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 10:45am

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

                  The idea I was referring to was in the comment to which I replied, not the article.
                  Why would I pay overmuch attention to Mr Masnick's take on things? Look, as much as I appreciate Mike's writing here at Techdirt, one of the things he does best is to provide links and embeds of supporting material—so that we can all read the demand letter for ourselves.

                  That letter very clearly anticipates a lawsuit. It demands $714, or in the alternative, promises a copyright infringement action.

                  Looking at 2600's published response, we can all see that they say that they have a license to use the elements they copied from the original work. License is a defense to copyright infringement.

                  But nowhere does Trunk Archive claim that they have any license. You're the person who suggested 2600 should argue that Trunk Archive has a non-exclusive license. But your suggested argument is plainly inconsistent with Trunk Archive's demand letter. It's not what they're saying.

                  Trunk Archive certainly knows:
                  To establish infringement, two elements must be proven: (1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original.
                  That's just very basic.

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

                  • icon
                    Sheogorath (profile), 10 Sep 2015 @ 12:24pm

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

                    You're the person who suggested 2600 should argue that Trunk Archive has a non-exclusive license.
                    Actually, no I didn't. I suggested that 2600 should point to the wording on the original work and use it to state that both parties (not just Trunk) have a non-exclusive licence which the plaintiff is abusing. Additionally, it was an AC who made the comment to which I replied, not Mike Masnick. Again, read carefully. The ability to do so is just very basic.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 12:34pm

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

                      I suggested that 2600 should point to the wording on the original work and use it to state that both parties (not just Trunk) have a non-exclusive licence which the plaintiff is abusing.
                      Why on earth would 2600 raise an affirmative defense on behalf of Trunk Archive?

                      Sure, 2600 pleads license as their defense to Trunk's statement that 2600 infringes Trunk's exclusive rights in the original work. That's fine. But why would 2600 say that Trunk has any kind of license at all? They don't know that. And those two parties don't look like they're on very friendly terms at the moment.

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

                      • icon
                        Sheogorath (profile), 11 Sep 2015 @ 1:16am

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

                        (-_Q) The point I suggested 2600 should make is that the licence is non-exclusive. You know, not exclusive?
                        But why would 2600 say that Trunk has any kind of license at all? They don't know that.
                        Right, the phrase Free for non-commercial/commercial use that Loadus posted under his work is absolutely no clue as to another party's licence status when using it at all. (-_Q)(-_Q)

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 8:39am

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

                          But why would 2600 say that Trunk has any kind of license at all? They don't know that.
                          Right, the phrase Free for non-commercial/commercial use. use that Loadus posted under his work is absolutely no clue as to another party's licence status when using it at all.
                          No. It isn't.

                          Generally, unilateral license grants are revocable upon notice. It is true that a licensee who acts within the scope of a license, detrimentally relying on a unilateral grant, may sometimes hold the licensor to the terms of the license. But, in general, unilateral licenses are revocable at will.

                          In this case, 2600 does not know whether Loadus has provided actual or constructive notice to Trunk Archive. How would 2600 be expected to know whether Trunk Archive has received notice from Loadus?

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

                          • icon
                            Sheogorath (profile), 11 Sep 2015 @ 12:15pm

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

                            Yes, it is. If Loadus had granted an exclusive licence to Trunk, then he would no longer be able to provide non-exclusive licences to anyone else on the work in question and would have not only had to delete the sentences that provide the licence, he'd have had to pull the work off of DeviantArt as well.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 1:16pm

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

                              If Loadus had granted an exclusive licence to Trunk, then he would no longer be able to provide non-exclusive licences to anyone else on the work in question and would have not only had to delete the sentences that provide the licence, he'd have had to pull the work off of DeviantArt as well.
                              Oh, not at all.

                              If I write code, and publish it with a Gnu GPLv2 notice, I can still turn around and assign ownership to the FSF. In that case, I'd expect the FSF would readily agree that my assignment would be based on their promise to continue licensing the work under the GPLv2 or later. Further, in that hypothetical set of circumstances, the FSF would provide me with a license-back to the code I wrote, so that I could continue publishing it under GPLv2 or later terms.

                              If Loadus has assigned, mortgaged, exclusively licensed, or in any other way conveyed, alienated, or hypothecated his copyright to Trunk Archive, they may have agreed to a license-back provision, so that he might continue to publish the original work with his original notice. Of course, we haven't seen anything that takes that possibility out of the realm of pure speculation.

                              What we do know is that Trunk Archive states their ownership of the original work at issue.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 2:56pm

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

                            But, in general, unilateral licenses are revocable at will.

                            Under what legal system can someone withdraw a license once granted?
                            Under any sensible legal system, while they can change the license under which the continue to offer a a work so long as they respect license already issued. An ability to unilaterally changes license terms post an (implied) grant of a license would destroy most commerce, as nobody could rely on the terms of a license.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 3:23pm

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

                              But, in general, unilateral licenses are revocable at will.
                              Under what legal system can someone withdraw a license once granted?
                              Dude. Let's say I invite you over to watch the game on TV and have a beer.

                              Halfway through the game, something comes up, and I say, “Sorry, everyone's got to leave.”

                              Does that mean you're entitled to stay at my place —watching my TV— —drinking my beer— until the game's over? Or does it mean that if you don't leave, then you're trespassing, and I can call the cops to have thrown out of my living room.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2015 @ 12:49pm

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

                                There is a difference between an invitation to visit enter premises, and permission attached to copies of works. If your theory is correct, your license to play every CD, DVD or MP3 etc can be withdrawn at any time, making it illegal for you to play it.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2015 @ 1:13pm

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

                                  … your license to play every CD, DVD or MP3 etc can be withdrawn at any time, making it illegal for you to play it.
                                  And which § 106 rights are potentially infringed by merely playing a CD, DVD, or MP3 again?

                                  When a copyright owner's exclusive rights are not implicated at all, then there's no need for any license or permission. Merely playing a CD is generally not illegal. Never has been.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 3:42pm

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

                              An ability to unilaterally changes license terms post an (implied) grant of a license would destroy most commerce, as nobody could rely on the terms of a license.
                              Most retail establishments give an implied license to the public to enter during normal business hours. Those very same stores often provide notice-of-trespass to undesirable individuals.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 9:37am

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

                          The point I suggested 2600 should make is that the licence is non-exclusive. You know, not exclusive?
                          Trunk Archive, through their licensing agent, clearly asserts exclusive rights in the original work.

                          I would expect 2600 will raise not only a defense of license, but also to point out that they have placed substantial reliance on that license, to their detriment. If they had received timely notice that exclusive rights might be claimed in the original work, they would undoubtedly have used different cover art.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 2:20pm

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

                      it was an AC who made the comment to which I replied, not Mike Masnick. Again, read carefully. The ability to do so is just very basic.

                      You should read what you wrote, you're calling someone out on comprehension whilst getting your own facts in a muddle and contradicting yourself.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 10:17am

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

                      I suggested that 2600 should point to the wording on the original work and use it to state that both parties (not just Trunk) have a non-exclusive licence which the plaintiff is abusing.
                      Obviously, Trunk Archive's belief that they hold exclusive rights in the original work does not rely at all on a non-exclusive license. If Trunk was relying on a non-exclusive license, then they wouldn't have sent the demand letter accusing 2600 of infringement.

                      When Trunk Archive is clearly not relying on a unilateral license grant, why again would 2600 believe that Trunk must be relying on that grant? It's common for a copyright owner to offer one set of terms to the general public, but to also be open to other licensing or transfer arangements with specific parties.

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

                      • icon
                        Sheogorath (profile), 11 Sep 2015 @ 12:21pm

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

                        (-_Q) 'Has non-exclusive licence' =/= 'other party is relying on exclusive licence'. The same applies when using the fact of a non-exclusive licence as an affirmative defence against a trolling copyright infringement lawsuit.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 3:18pm

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

                          'Has non-exclusive licence' =/= 'other party is relying on exclusive licence'.
                          Only a copyright owner is entitled to bring suit for infringement. Someone who is not the legal or beneficial owner of an exclusive right under the copyright act has no standing to institute an action for copyright infringement. If you don't own an exclusive copyright interest, you can't sue to exclude another party under the act. That's just copyright standing.

                          Trunk Archive, through their licensing agent, states their entitlement to seek compensation for infringement under Title 17.

                          That's a clear statement of exclusive ownership, right there in Trunk Archive's demand letter.

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

                          • icon
                            Sheogorath (profile), 11 Sep 2015 @ 6:01pm

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

                            I beg to differ. Trunk Archive appears to be arguing that 2600 Magazine has copied a part of the image on their website (which they do hold copyright in), when the fact is that both parties used a part of the same freely licensed work. Do try to keep up.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 6:33pm

                              Keeping up

                              Trunk is claiming that 2600 has infringed the copyright of an image that they represent. They have no idea about Loadus.

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

                              • icon
                                Sheogorath (profile), 11 Sep 2015 @ 8:45pm

                                Re: Keeping up

                                Trunk is claiming that 2600 has infringed the copyright of an image that they represent.
                                If they only represent the work, then they have no more right to sue over it than I do.
                                They have no idea about Loadus.
                                Well, the person who made the photograph with the ink splatters certainly has an idea of the work they borrowed from, if not its creator.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:35am

    The absurdly minimal amount of the image used also would qualify it for protection.
    No it does not qualify the image use under Fair Use. EVER.

    Part of the problem people have over Fair Use is they don't understand it.

    Even if all 4 points of guideline were met, it's no guarantee infringement claim would be waived.

    That's why Fair Use is a case by case system, where the results of one case has absolutely nothing to do with another, because, you know, "civil" vs. "criminal".

    So yeah, while Getty is stretching it due to other measures, let's stop pretending Fair Use has a claim here. It doesn't and never will until the law is changed to make Fair Use absolute, not a goddamn set of guidelines.

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    • identicon
      Squirrels Without Boarders, 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      This comment is fairly incomprehensible.

      While Fair Use has the four statutory factors to consider and requires generally a case by case application, prior fair use decisions can be a guide to how those factors are applied because judicial precedent is used in civil cases too.

      Fair use has been interpreted in the US (wrongly, I think) to be a defense to copyright infringement. In pre-litigation communication, you can certainly make your case for fair use and let the purported copyright holder take it into consideration before getting into a protracted legal battle.

      An educated legal mind can certainly say, after considering the four factors and the relevant case law, that something is likely to qualify as fair use.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        Fair use has been interpreted in the US (wrongly, I think) to be a defense to copyright infringement.
        I interpret this comment as an assertion that use of a copyrighted work in accord with § 107 “is not an infringement of copyright.”

        Other people, not as familiar with the statutory text, may misinterpret what you were trying to say.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 6:13pm

      Re:

      The absurdly minimal amount of the image used also would qualify it for protection.
      "No it does not qualify the image use under Fair Use. EVER."

      He said protection, not fair use. I would think this would qualify for de minimis protection, though IANAL.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:45am

    Getty pwns it all

    Using pictures is going to getty you sued.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:45am

    does getty has a hansmeier on the staff?  like a cousin, maybe, of the bobbsey boys?

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:49am

      Succession of Trolls

      Righthaven

      Prenda

      Getty

      Did I miss any trolls? It seems like some performance rights organizations or collection societies would qualify.

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

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:57am

        Re: Succession of Trolls

        Malibu Media

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Succession of Trolls

        Did I miss any trolls?
        The unmistakable Harley-Davidson rumble seeps into the auditorium. Then the roar begins. The amped-up crowd noise mixes with the thunder of the motorcycle as he arrives on stage.

        He is wearing a leather jacket   —and mirror shades.

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

  • identicon
    PRMan, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:54am

    Wisdom

    Is it really wise for Getty Images to go after a hacker organization? Have they learned nothing from Sony or HB Gary?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Wisdom

      Have they learned nothing from Sony or HB Gary?
      A better question is whether anyone learned anything from Caldera.

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

      • icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: Wisdom

        A better question is whether anyone learned anything from Caldera.

        The SCO Group?

        Unfortunately, no. I don't think anyone even involved in the SCO fiasco even learned anything. I believe Darl McBride left on a golden parachute and the principles of the company went through bankruptcy and the company was bought at pennies by another company (UnXis, I believe.)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Wisdom

          I don't think anyone even involved in the SCO fiasco even learned anything.
          Now c'mon, there. A whole lot of people had (virtual) front-row seats as Boies, Schiller & Flexner went up against Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and Morrison Foerster.

          Didn't anyone learn anything at all? The crowd dispersed —entertained— but just as ignorant?

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

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:00am

    With no real penalty for even a knowingly false copyright claim, why not claim you own everything?

    The penalty for any unsupported copyright claim should be as much as the copyright penalty would have been if it was supported.

    False million dollar copyright claim? You pay $1M. False claim of $150K for a music copyright violation? You pay $150K.

    Problem solved.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      Here's my fantasy solution to the problem:

      First the claimant has to explicitly state the amount they think they should be compensated. That then becomes the absolute upper limit and cannot be changed during the course of the case (although they can be awarded less...).

      The defendant should be able to counter-sue for willful or negligent copyright fraud. Heck, in the case where a warning letter is sent it should be required to state this claimed amount, and that should be the limit thereafter. Plus if such a demand letter is sent, the recipient should be able to sue for willful or negligent copyright fraud. If the copyright fraud is proven in court, the award should be an automatic 10 times the amount that the copyfraud demanded.

      Let's give the accused some control of the legal process and make abuse really cost unless the abuser asks of miniscule amounts (in which case it will not be profitable for trolls to pursue...).

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

  • icon
    Winterfell (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:56am

    Trunk Archive not a Getty Images subsidiary AFAICT

    I've been doing some research on this and I cannot find any info linking Trunk Archive and Getty images other than the fact that Getty owns PicScout. PicScout is a service they provide (for fees, of course) but is separate from claiming any ownership to the rights to the images. Has anyone found images at Getty credited to Trunk Archive.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:58am

    Bored Legal Departments

    They are the Devil's 3D printer.

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

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 9 Sep 2015 @ 12:45pm

    If there's one good thing in all this IP madness, the average blogger like me is savvy because we've all been leaned on.

    About a year ago I started using only my own photos and artwork, no matter how safe I think an image is. Unless I created it personally, I don't use it on my blogs.

    Now that I use only my own work, I can focus on what a blogger really does: piss people off using lots of words. Because First Amendment.

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

  • icon
    DB (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 1:33pm

    I have to agree with the previous posters: you better have your ducks in a row, both legally and morally, before you go after '2600'. That's like punching a WWII veteran in Quantico. You might feel safe because he can't get out of his wheelchair to hit back, but that's where the danger lies.

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

  • identicon
    slipstream, 9 Sep 2015 @ 3:30pm

    Oh, Getty, Getty, Getty...

    Maybe you should tone down your crawlers before spamming threatening messages. You know, the ones through your PicScout subsidiary that are hosted on bezeqint and have been known to crawl so aggressively that they have essentially caused denial of service attacks on websites?

    It'd be hilarious if someone managed to point PicScout's bots at their own C2, though. (ops.picscout.com)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 3:45pm

    Quick Jimmy, get my broker on the line...

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

  • icon
    MrTroy (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 9:51pm

    Getty's version of ContentID on the internet?

    I see a lot of parallels between this story and the various music remixing stories over the years. When you have automatic matching software, you need to be able to determine when two samples match because of provenance rather than directly. Which is unlikely to be possible unless the algorithm is given all provenance details... which is unlikely to be even slightly practical.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 10:04am

    They should find out of the original artist allowed the photographer to use their art in the image Getty is claiming. It would be a delicious twist of irony if the photo was using stolen art.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2015 @ 5:54pm

    'Collection Societies' branch out

    Getty Images is the optical equivalent to ASCAP/BMI's (US-based) music publishing duopoly, so most companies will naturally find it far cheaper to just cough up GI's licensing fees than take on it's army of lawyers.

    And just like ASCAP & BMI, Getty Images offers a wide variety of license agreements and payment plans to fit most any type of business.

    Incidentally, Getty Images has been nudging into ASCAP & BMI's home turf, the music publishing business. It remains to be seen if ASCAP and BMI will retaliate in kind and start licensing pictures.

    If so, then print publications and websites may have two more mouths to feed to stay out of legal hot water.

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


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