NBC, Filthy Pirates, Sued Over Use Of Photographer's Work Without Permission

from the live-by-the-copyright,-die-by-the-copyrigfht dept

NBC has made its views on piracy quite well-known over the years. For instance, we all know that it thinks that piracy is the most horrible damned thing that exists on this planet, so much so that it would please like ISPs to act as its personal police force. Oh, and because NBC also just cares so much -- could we all just have our kids take a break from learning about stuff to listen to how awesome copyright is for a while? Also, however, piracy is pretty sweet when it's convenient for NBC, or when it doesn't want to bother coming up with its own images for its websites.

And so it goes, with NBC recently on the receiving end of a copyright suit over The Today Show's use of a photographer's work, not only without permission, but while happily giving credit to the wrong party on top of it.

Photographer Alexander Stross filed a lawsuit at a Texas federal court accusing the Today Show of infringing his work through multiple venues. In the complaint (pdf) Stross explains that a series of photos he took of micro houses in Texas gained mainstream new attention earlier this year. It was also covered in a segment of The Today Show, reaching an audience of millions of people.

However, the photos shown on air were used without permission from the photographer. In addition, one of the photos was posted in a tweet without attribution, which is still online today. A day later this coverage was followed by an article on The Today Show website, again featuring the infringing photos. To make matters worse these were credited to a third party.
The credit on the photograph on the website went to Matt Garcia Design, the architect of the house, which is not of course how copyrights on photographs work. You would think this is something that NBC would know, seeing as how it is the arbiter of all things copyright, to the point that it insists on being consulted on how copyright is taught within our schools. Oh, and The Today Show actually mentioned Stross as the photographer who produced the photos in its segment, so there's that.
When Stross learned of the use, he first attempted to contact NBC, but received no response. Then he tried again, and was likewise ignored. It took Stross hiring a lawyer to get NBC to respond in any way. NBC then attempted to say it had gotten permission to use the photographs from the architect, except its evidence of this seems to indicate it only attempted to do so after the infringing use.

When contacted by counsel, Defendant claimed to have obtained the Photographs - and advance permission to use them - from architect Matt Garcia. Upon information and belief, neither is true. Rather, correspondence provided to Plaintiff by Defendant, reflects the following:

• On May 8, 2012: Amy Eley -- a producer working for Defendant -- requested press materials and photographs from Mr. Garcia, who replied that he had a photo shoot coming up, and asked her to wait until they were finished. There appears to have been no further correspondence between Ms. Eley and Mr. Garcia.

• At 2:17 p.m. on May 12, 2015: after Defendant ran the On-Air Segment; after it posted the Tweet; and after it published the Web Article -- a freelance writer named Julie Pennell contacted Garcia and informed him that she was writing a piece on the houses for Today.com. She asked if new photographs had been taken, and whether she could use them (failing to advise Garcia that Defendant had already used the Photographs). Garcia informed Pennell that the scheduled photo shoot had been cancelled, and asked if she would like copies of other photographs that he had -- which happened to be Stross’ Photographs.
None of that seems to equate to permission to use the photographs offered by Matt Garcia Design, which doesn't really matter since the architect doesn't hold the copyright for the photographs. To be clear, NBC may have a reasonable fair use defense here, but that's not what it claimed when originally approached at all (though it likely will in the lawsuit). And given NBC's past insistence on being purely copyright maximalist (and even fighting back against fair use at times), it's yet another situation in which a company or individual who attacks others screaming copyright infringement may not actually have cleaned up its own house first.

Look, it's quite easy to commit copyright infringement. People do it all the time, often without ever even realizing it, as they go about their days doing their jobs and living their lives. But NBC simply can't put itself out as the copyright police -- or even suggest that it's somehow "easy" for others to properly recognize what's infringing and what's not -- while at the same time finding itself on the defendant end of these kinds of lawsuits. And that's really the key point here. Copyright maximalists like to assume that infringement is a black or white issue, that it's obvious and that it's obviously "bad." But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves. And that's because it's not at all easy to detect, and quite easy to infringe without realizing it. And when you can so easily accidentally break a law that can lead to massive damages, it certainly suggests that perhaps it's time for reform. But, somehow, I'm betting that NBC Universal will continue to push in the other direction, even as it faces down this lawsuit.


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 2:02pm

    Typo in the "from the" line

    "copyrigfht"

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

  • icon
    PRMan (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 2:40pm

    Penalties

    I think $150,000 per infringement should be in order...

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Penalties

      Statutory damages should be tripled for willful infringement because NBC, being such a staunch copyright defender, should know better.

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re: Penalties

        Statutory damages should be tripled for willful infringement because NBC, being such a staunch copyright defender, should know better.

        Not to mention, this was commercial infringement, not a housewife making backups of legitimately purchased works. How much cash did they get from advertisers to blast it out to all those eyeballs? Then there's the malicious assault on children justifying copyright infringement. The horror!

        Left hand, right hand ...

        When I think of all those businesses out there whose employees sat through days of workshops learning about the sexy new features in the new version of MS Office, why isn't NBC holding workshops to educate their employees on correct handling of copyright issues? Because it's a morass of spaghetti that no one really understands?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:04am

      Re: Penalties

      So, $150,000 per view should be entirely appropriate (see also, RIAA v Thomas.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:46am

      Re: Penalties

      More cynically, we might expect NBC and such to support damages reform, specifically the parts that make it based on "The plaintiff’s revenues lost", "The defendant’s ... profits reaped, and other benefits from the infringement", "The value ... of the work infringed".

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

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:04pm

    I need a lawyer.

    Please Techdirtians,

    I need a great lawyer to sue NBC. Once I read this news of what NBC has done I have been unable to work due to the extreme trama. I have suffered irreparable harm and have gained 15 pounds as I try to salvage my now destroyed life. After speaking with a medical professional (Google). I feel the only way NBC can make this right is by a small amount of money say 20 million. And just a small percentage of the parent company, say 51%. Please represent me...

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:52pm

      Re: I need a lawyer.

      I have suffered irreparable harm and have gained 15 pounds as I try to salvage my now destroyed life.

      You should be thankful! Starvation's not fun, you know? They helped you defeat your eating disorder. If you didn't actually suffer from an eating disorder, how were they to know? They meant well I'm sure. Case dismissed!

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

  • icon
    cjstg (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:17pm

    Rank hath its privileges

    That's one advantage of being the police. It puts you above the law.

    If NBC is the copyright police then they are above the law. Just ask any cop.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:40pm

      Re: Rank hath its privileges

      It depends on how rank they are.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re: Rank hath its privileges

        Not really. If you are not high enough rank, they will just promote you after the incident.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Rank hath its privileges

          Think double entendre.

          One definition of the word rank would not let one get close enough to make such a determination, depending on the strength of the rankness, and wind direction.

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:29pm

    " But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves."

    Of course you do, because they are actually out there producing tons of new content every day and sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur. What is objectionable here isn't that someone clearly didn't understand what they were doing, but the lack of response by NBC on the subject.

    Now that said, I have to say I have a bit of the problem with the article as it's pretty much not a series of facts, but rather a series of assertions by the defendant. It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism (you know, the fair use you guys trot out all the time for everyone else, but apparently NBC doesn't get any!).

    I also notice that both your article and the Torrentfreak article (great unbiased sources!) fail to mention if the guy filed a DMCA notice with Twitter (and for that matter, to NBC itself). If not, why did he fail a basic step to asset his rights? The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

    NBC certainly appears to be in the wrong here (and yes, they should pay for it if they are), but the photographer seems to be quick with the lawyers and seems to have missed a couple of steps along the way that could have resolved the issues at hand within the framework of the DMCA for all of the online material.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:31pm

      Re:

      "The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights."

      If someone infringes his works doesn't he have a legal right to damages? So ... isn't he asserting those legal rights?

      "the photographer seems to be quick with the lawyers"

      I feel like you didn't read the article.

      Article:
      "When Stross learned of the use, he first attempted to contact NBC, but received no response. Then he tried again, and was likewise ignored."

      You:
      "and seems to have missed a couple of steps along the way that could have resolved the issues at hand within the framework of the DMCA for all of the online material."

      You assume he wants to assert the DMCA. What if, instead, he wants to assert damages? Or a direct injunction? Does the law not allow for this?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:46pm

      Re:

      So if Malibu Media does it to an old army veteran it's fine, but if it's an actual content creator to a corporation it's being "quick with the lawyers". Okay then.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:47pm

      Re:

      and it's amazing how you cry about how the law doesn't offer copy protection holders enough protections but as soon as someone tries to assert protections they are given under the law against big media you imply they are being unreasonable. Yes, this artist wants to get paid for their works as you say. Isn't that something you normally vehemently defend as reasonable? For the artists right? But now all of a sudden you are anti-artist.

      "It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism"

      So what? It's not like the law offers much punishment for frivolous infringement lawsuits. It's only fair, if the big players can file bogus takedown requests and lawsuits so could the little guys. Do you have a problem with this? Or do you think the law should offer the same protections to those on the receiving end of bogus takedown requests (including artists) and lawsuits as those who get protected works infringed upon.

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:50pm

        Re: Re:

        "and it's amazing how you cry about how the law doesn't offer copy protection holders enough protections but as soon as someone tries to assert protections they are given under the law against big media you imply they are being unreasonable."

        I don't asset it's unreasonable, I am suggesting that he didn't touch all the bases and certainly didn't take steps that could have stopped the infringement more quickly.

        "It's only fair, if the big players can file bogus takedown requests and lawsuits so could the little guys."

        if he had files a takedown request, you may be correct. But He went from zero to "here's my lawyer" without using any of the other remedies available to stop the infringement as quickly as possible.

        Remember too, I do think NBC is in the wrong and should pay out the ass for it (it's only fitting). I just think that this photographer is working a little too hard to turn it into a meal ticket - the same sort of stuff you guys shame other content owners for all the time. Why is this guy special?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I don't asset it's unreasonable"

          Then why bring it up?

          "working a little too hard to turn it into a meal ticket"

          Which, in your world view and in the world view of NBC, is perfectly fine. Why do you care? Are you suggesting that copy protection statutory damages should be reduced?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          think you missed the part where NBC ignored him when he tried to take it up with them, and only when he realized they were refusing to talk to him did he lawyer up.

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

    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:06pm

      Re:

      " But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves."

      Of course you do, because they are actually out there producing tons of new content every day and sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur. What is objectionable here isn't that someone clearly didn't understand what they were doing, but the lack of response by NBC on the subject.

      NBC's actions in response to the accusation aren't really the point of the article. The point is that "Copyright maximalists like to assume that infringement is a black or white issue, that it's obvious and that it's obviously "bad." But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves."

      NBC and friends repeatedly claim that not only is piracy bad, but apparently piracy is easy to identify and easy to avoid by just doing the right thing... except oops. Rather than tightening up all of the rules that nobody but a copyright lawyer can follow anyway, or increasing the punishments that are already so far beyond reasonable that they are a joke... perhaps everybody would benefit from unwinding this knot a bit?

      How much? I don't know. But it would be nice if it was even an option to discuss, rather than the non-stop ratcheting of stronger IP protections and damages. I mean, if "producing tons of new content every day" means that "sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur" then shouldn't the law take that into account?

      It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism (you know, the fair use you guys trot out all the time for everyone else, but apparently NBC doesn't get any!).

      You mean the bit that says "To be clear, NBC may have a reasonable fair use defense here, but that's not what it claimed when originally approached at all (though it likely will in the lawsuit)."?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Whatever doesn't read the articles before posting apparently. I've noticed this theme a long time ago.

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 8:04pm

        Re: Re:

        The mention of fair use is in passing, and certainly not central to the story - which is would be if the guy was suing content from NBC.

        Really, the story should be "photographer doesn't understand Fair Use, unwisely sics lawyers on big media". Instead, it's pretty much a lame attempt to slam NBC (and support torrentfreak's biased coverage).

        "NBC and friends repeatedly claim that not only is piracy bad, but apparently piracy is easy to identify and easy to avoid by just doing the right thing... except oops."

        NBC cannot stop someone from filing a lawsuit that may turn out to be frivolous. Fair use is the fine stripe of grey between the black and white of copyright, and journalism (especially big media journalism) is one of the clearer examples. It's an equally funny thing then that the lawyer claims to be well versed in copyright. You would think that he would have advised his client that he might not have a leg to stand on.

        My feeling is with the tabled turned the other way, the story would read about the horrible copyright bully trying to stop some guy from tweeting images.

        I stick with my point too, the guy would likely have gotten way more action with a DMCA notice to Twitter...

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

        • icon
          MrTroy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 9:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The mention of fair use is in passing, and certainly not central to the story - which is would be if the guy was suing content from NBC.

          Really, the story should be "photographer doesn't understand Fair Use, unwisely sics lawyers on big media". Instead, it's pretty much a lame attempt to slam NBC (and support torrentfreak's biased coverage).

          The mention of fair use isn't central to the story, because fair use doesn't really have any bearing on the story.

          If NBC had attributed the photos correctly, and/or if they had mentioned their fair use claim when contacted by the photographer, rather than falsely claiming that they had obtained permission for use, then this might be a story about fair use.

          "NBC and friends repeatedly claim that not only is piracy bad, but apparently piracy is easy to identify and easy to avoid by just doing the right thing... except oops."

          NBC cannot stop someone from filing a lawsuit that may turn out to be frivolous. Fair use is the fine stripe of grey between the black and white of copyright, and journalism (especially big media journalism) is one of the clearer examples. It's an equally funny thing then that the lawyer claims to be well versed in copyright. You would think that he would have advised his client that he might not have a leg to stand on.

          Emphasis mine... because you've almost hit on the point of the article here. Sure, NBC did the wrong thing by misattributing the photo and not responding when the photographer tried to contact them, but does this really justify a lawsuit? Remember that this is the normal that the likes of NBC are trying to promote, if not extend.

          My feeling is with the tabled turned the other way, the story would read about the horrible copyright bully trying to stop some guy from tweeting images.

          And I have a feeling that you'd be here telling us that there's no problem, that the guy will be able to defend his fair use claims in court, and if his use was really fair then no foul, right?

          I stick with my point too, the guy would likely have gotten way more action with a DMCA notice to Twitter...

          So the guy tries to contact the company directly to talk about the use of his photos, but you think that the thing he did wrong was going to the courts rather than taking down the Today Show? He didn't want the photos down, he just wants to be paid for their use.

          Protip: When an article is talking about how broken the system is, it doesn't necessarily help to bring up another broken part of the system.

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          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "The mention of fair use isn't central to the story, because fair use doesn't really have any bearing on the story."

            It has a huge bearing on the story. There is no real need to attribute an image under fair use. It's something done out of courtesy, not legal requirement as far as I can tell. NBC made a mistake on the attribution, and that's not good - but it's also not fatal.

            "And I have a feeling that you'd be here telling us that there's no problem, that the guy will be able to defend his fair use claims in court, and if his use was really fair then no foul, right?"

            NO, NO NO! God, how many times do I have to repeat this? Fair use is a valid response to a DMCA claim. It's the type of response that means your ISP, hosting company, or whatever don't have to take any action because ou have responded to the DMCA with a potentially valid legal claim. There would only be a court case if, after informed of the fair use claim, the copyright holder still feels the need to move forward and sue (ie, doesn't feel fair use applies). Most copyright holders with a decent lawyer would think twice before taking someone to court who has what appears to be a reasonable fair use claim.

            Claiming fair use doesn't immediately lead to court. Of course, in this case, because the guy went nuclear and sent the lawyer in, it's very likely that it would go to court if he wants to even try to get what he feels is his legal rights. It's why the lawyers should never be the first step, he's pretty much boxed himself in now.

            "So the guy tries to contact the company directly to talk about the use of his photos"

            The problem here is that he apparently didn't do a very good job. The DMCA notice would have been the perfect tool for the job here, because it has a very short fuse and would need to be attended to directly. Selecting the nuclear option (lawsuit) is a very big weapon to fix what is a very small problem - and potentially not even a problem.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 9:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My feeling is with the tabled turned the other way, the story would read about the horrible copyright bully trying to stop some guy from tweeting images.

          And now for the million dollar question: In that situation, where things were reversed and NBC was going after some guy tweeting images for similar reasons, would your stance change?

          Would you still be claiming that NBC was going overboard, that their lawyer was clearly lacking in knowledge of fair use and 'didn't have a leg to stand on', that it's unreasonable for someone to know the copyright status of a work and that filing a lawsuit against them for a mistake was excessive? Or would all that 'It's a mistake, and even if it wasn't it's still Fair Use' arguments be thrown aside as you claimed that it's his own fault for using NBC's photos without permission?

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:12pm

      Re:

      But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves.

      Of course you do, because they are actually out there producing tons of new content every day and sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur.

      So, it's just a sad coincidence that little people get ground into the dust by statutory damages?
      What is objectionable here isn't that someone clearly didn't understand what they were doing, but the lack of response by NBC on the subject.

      Yes, it is pretty sad that you have to drag a lawyer into it and threaten a lawsuit just to get them to acknowledge your existence.
      Now that said, I have to say I have a bit of the problem with the article as it's pretty much not a series of facts, but rather a series of assertions by the defendant.

      It's more a littany of past conflicting behavior. They've been all over the map on this, still can't get it right themselves, yet they defend statutory damages and push back with all their might any attempt to change.
      It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism (you know, the fair use you guys trot out all the time for everyone else, but apparently NBC doesn't get any!).

      That was in the summing up of the article. Maybe you should have read it before you leapt to tar TD based on a hot button issue of yours.
      I also notice that both your article and the Torrentfreak article (great unbiased sources!) fail to mention if the guy filed a DMCA notice with Twitter (and for that matter, to NBC itself).

      DMCA is for on-line. This is for broadcast TV. Once it's in viewer's eyeballs, it can't be taken down.
      The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

      Good for him. They walked right into it. They built the trap and he used it on them.

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re:

        The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

        Wait a second! He contacted them, and they ignored him. It wasn't until he dragged in a lawyer to threaten them that they deigned to recognize his existence. That's hardly "The quick jump to a lawsuit"!

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  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 3:34pm

    Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

    Just because there is an obvious party in the wrong, you shouldn't ignore the photographer. You at least need to pick on the photographer for getting upset about having his photographs published on the Today Show—nationwide advertising for free—yet responding with a lawsuit instead of a "thank you" card. He should be asking for permission to put their logo on his website (i.e., "As seen on the Today Show"), not filing a lawsuit.

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

    • identicon
      Nemesis02, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:46pm

      Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

      The problem with that though is that with his photos being used on so many different mediums, that would have benefited his business if he was properly credited. Him putting "As seen on The Today Show" would not reimburse him for all the lost revenue that he would have seen if he was properly credited, so with that said, it's up to a jury to decide what those damages are. If the roles were reversed in this situation, they wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger and file a lawsuit either as they've done in the past.

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:53pm

        Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

        Yes, but in the end, wouldn't his better move be to get the Today show to do ANOTHER segment and invite him on to talk about it a bit more, and to expand on what he has captured? See, suing for cash is nice and all, but in the end, getting a national audience to know your name and your work may be a better long term move.

        NBC clearly is in the wrong here, but there are many remedies that could give this guy way more satisfaction than feeding most of a settlement to the lawyers.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 9:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

          Given they completely ignored him until he got a lawyer, it's say it's NBC's fault that it reached that point.

          This could have been solved in a single exchange...

          "Hey, it seems you used my photos in your show, and while I wouldn't mind the publicity normally, you credited them to the wrong person, which means know one knows I'm the one who took them."

          "Oh, terribly sorry, we'll fix that right away, sorry for the mistake."

          ...but by brushing him aside when he tried the simple route, they basically forced his hand if he wanted them to pay attention to what he was saying.

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 10:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

            or

            "oh terribly sorry, but we got those images from another sources, and they have been attributed. thanks for playing".

            You see, we don't know what he was really asking for on the phone. Perhaps he was being unreasonable. Perhaps he was talking to the wrong people. Perhaps he wanted his name in lights. We don't know any of that.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

              Given how badly NBC acted in infringing his works without permission and subsequently missattributing it it's not unreasonable to believe that NBC ignored his attempts to contact them.

              You said

              "the photographer seems to be quick with the lawyers"

              "It's why the lawyers should never be the first step"

              "wouldn't his better move be to get the Today show to do ANOTHER segment and invite him on to talk about it a bit more, and to expand on what he has captured?"

              You protest commenting on something when we we don't know everything yet you are the one that's commenting that he was quick to contact a lawyer (even when the article states he tried to contact NBC first) without knowing how much effort he put into trying to settle the matter before contacting a lawyer.

              The story is based on what we do know and not what we don't. If more comes out it can be discussed then.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 6 Feb 2016 @ 1:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

              "oh terribly sorry, but we got those images from another sources, and they have been attributed. thanks for playing".

              Which would be a deliberate falsehood and meaningless, especially given that they'd intentionally removed the copyright notice embedded in the photo and replaced it with his name somewhere near it in one instance, no attribution at all in another, and 'Courtesy of Matt Garcia Design' in the last instance. At the very least in two out of the three examples they knew full well that Garcia wasn't the right person.

              You see, we don't know what he was really asking for on the phone. Perhaps he was being unreasonable. Perhaps he was talking to the wrong people. Perhaps he wanted his name in lights. We don't know any of that.

              Or perhaps they didn't care until he decided to hire a lawyer, and even then they lied by claiming that a) they believed that Garcia owned the photos, and b) claiming that Garcia had given them advanced permission to use them.

              When Stross learned of the use, he first attempted to contact NBC, but received no response. Then he tried again, and was likewise ignored. It took Stross hiring a lawyer to get NBC to respond in any way. NBC then attempted to say it had gotten permission to use the photographs from the architect, except its evidence of this seems to indicate it only attempted to do so after the infringing use.

              • On May 8, 2012: Amy Eley -- a producer working for Defendant -- requested press materials and photographs from Mr. Garcia, who replied that he had a photo shoot coming up, and asked her to wait until they were finished. There appears to have been no further correspondence between Ms. Eley and Mr. Garcia.

              • At 2:17 p.m. on May 12, 2015: after Defendant ran the On-Air Segment; after it posted the Tweet; and after it published the Web Article -- a freelance writer named Julie Pennell contacted Garcia and informed him that she was writing a piece on the houses for Today.com. She asked if new photographs had been taken, and whether she could use them (failing to advise Garcia that Defendant had already used the Photographs). Garcia informed Pennell that the scheduled photo shoot had been cancelled, and asked if she would like copies of other photographs that he had -- which happened to be Stross’ Photographs.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2016 @ 8:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

                If there is one thing Whatever makes very clear it's that he obviously did not read the article before commenting. It's then hilarious watching him backpedaling after the fact as if everyone can't easily see right through his nonsense.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 6:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

          You seem to think that he owes NBC an opportunity to kiss his ass by having him on the today show.

          He doesn't.

          And all your comments show exactly what a hypocrite you are.

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

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

          See, suing for cash is nice and all, but in the end, getting a national audience to know your name and your work may be a better long term move.

          Now you're defending copyright infringement?

          This is what the pirates say! Study after study proves that pirates/infringers buy (pay for) more copyrighted stuff than non-pirates. It's free promotion for rightsholders which creates more sales ("buzz") of their stuff.

          Glad you've finally come around to see the light.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:20pm

    "do what we say, not what we do" is quite popular among the corrupt

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

  • identicon
    Sandy, 5 Feb 2016 @ 4:44am

    'as seen on the Today show'

    He should (as others suggest) just seize the moment and market his photos as "As seen on the Today Show"-- but then NBC would sue him for unlicensed use of their trademarked show name.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 4:55am

    Shiver me timbers, tie the scurvy dogs to the yardarm, 50 lashes with a cat o nine tails a fore they walk the plank.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 6:03am

    large corporations create laws (lobby) that a normal person can't grasp , so why would he/she risk going into a situation without a complete clear understanding of the laws , a lawyer was the artists only choice.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:40pm

      Re:

      large corporations create laws (lobby) that a normal person can't grasp , so why would he/she risk going into a situation without a complete clear understanding of the laws , a lawyer was the artists only choice.

      A lawyer was the last choice left to the artists once we gave a profession of liars who speak in a dead language (Latin) the right to handle this for us.

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

  • icon
    mb (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 3:21pm

    Domain Seizure

    Perhaps nbc.com should be handed over to the photographer.

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


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