This had to be at least partially cost/benefit motivated
I have dealt with Getty on numerous occasions for clients. Their "representatives" spoke in unrealized absolutes ("We will sue"), and were hardwired to try to collect $350-750+ per image regardless of the circumstances, how long the image was online, whether it was the web developer's fault, etc. Granted, these are not really *legal* considerations in a lawsuit, but they do color the situation.
So we'd just run Getty through the paces. Negotiate back and forth, stall on responding, try to talk them down, push them to the edge of their bluff -- basically make it so whatever they might have eventually gotten to settle was less than it cost them to get there. That in addition to the probably largely-uncollectable lawsuits...
Perhaps enough folks did things like that to warrant rethinking their hardline stance.
Regardless how they got there, they can have the "forward thinking" benny-'o-doubt. Good for them.
I guess these lawyer-type folks haven't heard of 47 USC §230(c) ... that 15+ year-old federal statute that immunizes interactive websites from defamation liability for statements by its users. You know, the one that essentially allows social media sites, forums, and comment threads like this one to exist in the first place? That one?
Anyway, have fun defending that Motion to Dismiss.
I do believe this is the best judicial paragraph outlining the *issue* it is analyzing that I have read in a very long time:
When do present-day circumstances--the evolutions in the Government's surveillance capabilities, citizens' phone habits, and the relationship between the NSA and telecom companies--become so thoroughly unlike those considered by the Supreme Court thirty-four years ago that a precedent like Smith simply does not apply? The answer, unfortunately for the Government, is now.
* Stef Coburn's story is apocryphal at best * Coburn states he is not a Doctor Who fan, and calls it a "children's programme" in the same sentence? Way to engender support for your cause. * Coburn's a prick * Strictly speaking, it's "TARDIS" or even "T.A.R.D.I.S." - being an acronym. (But Guardian spelled it "Tardis" too, so point not belabored.)
Wow that was interesting. I have noticed that the older and more knowledgeable I get, the less inclined I am to offer opinions based on that knowledge (because it might not be entirely right). But I didn't know that was a good thing.