Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photographer wins copyright ruling; Guardian, 10/26/09

Roy Greenslade, Guardian; Photographer wins copyright ruling:

"The high court made a ruling on 16 October that has important ramifications for newspaper and magazine publishers and photographers, but it appears to have slipped under the mainstream media radar.

Judges found in favour of a freelance photographer Alan Grisbrook who had sued Mirror Group Newspapers for infringing his copyright in archived images.

In a 2002 consent order, following a previous legal action taken by Grisbrook against MGN over unpaid licence fees, MGN agreed to delete all electronic copies of his photos from its systems.
So when Grisbrook discovered last year that MGN were making available back copies of their titles to paying customers through websites, and that these contained some of his images, he believed MGN were infringing his copyright and breaching the previous consent order.
He said that he had never consented to the inclusion of his images in the group's back numbers database nor on their websites.

MGN argued that the use of the images was in the public interest, and that Grisbrook's licence extended to back copy editions archived electronically.

Following the ruling, technology lawyer Tom Cowling said that photographers should look at their licences.

If they have licensed images to a newspaper which, like MGN, is making back copies of their editions available online to paid subscribers, they may well have a claim in copyright infringement if their licence agreement did not clearly allow such use."


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