Daniel Morel took a few pictures of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and posted them on Twitter. And editor for Agence France-Presse, a French news agency commonly referred to as AFP, found the images and sent them on to Getty images, a stock photo agency based in America. From there the images were used on multiple news outlets and eventually Morel caught wind and sued.
A US judge recently ruled in favor of Morel and forced AFP and Getty Images to pay $1.2 million to Morel for their actions. A lot of other news sources, like The Washington Post, have already settled with Morel for undisclosed amounts.
AFP tried to argue that the pictures were open for commercial use, but Twitter backed Morel, stating “As has always been our policy, Twitter users own their own photos.” So if you’re thinking of using Twitter pictures, I highly suggest you think again.
Before you start trying to sue for the use of your pictures, remember that Morel hit the lottery with the widespread use of his pictures for official means. Also, had the proper channels been used, he wouldn’t have made nearly as much money for his photos. But even still, is anyone else considering a job as a photographer now?
Source – The Verge
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