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Photographers face copyright threat after shock ruling


Dave_E 12 125 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2012 9:30PM
It appears the two companies involved in this case have a previous history with each other.

http://www.templeisland.com/new_english_teas_red_bus_copyright.asp

http://www.newenglishteas.com/

Both seem to be dealing in the London Tourist memento market.
User_Removed 16 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2012 10:31PM

Quote:On the strength of this it would seem that anyone using an image that's just-a-little-bit-like another one can be taken to court for it.


You can be taken to court for anything someone decides to sue you for. That's not to say they'll win though.

The people who won in this case were clearly having someone rip off their branding

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good dose of AP tabloid sensationalism and ePz forum overreaction though
Jestertheclown 11 8.3k 253 England
25 Jan 2012 10:40PM

Quote:The people who won in this case were clearly having someone rip off their branding

True Chris.
It would seem obvious that it's a case of "passing off" as you quite aptly named it but they've been taken to court specifically for infringement of copyright yet to my eye, the two images are so unalike that copyright wouldn't or at least shouldn't be the issue here.
I suppose it's easier to use the charge of "copyright infringement" than "you're trying to sell stuff by pretending it's mine" or whatever that would be in legalise.
aco012000 14 35 1
25 Jan 2012 11:02PM
I wonder if London Transport will take them to court for using a photograph with one of their buses in without prior consent (unless of course they did obtain permission first). Then there is the question of whether they obtained written permission and / or paid a model fee to all the people who they used in the photographs. I'm sure some clever lawyer could tie both companies up for years in litigation.
Don't think so, so I will just keep on 'graphing the shots I like and enjoy taking
User_Removed 16 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2012 11:07PM

Quote:I suppose it's easier to use the charge of "copyright infringement" than "you're trying to sell stuff by pretending it's mine" or whatever that would be in legalise.


In legalise it's called " passing off ". It's not my phrase.
meercat 11 278 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2012 11:39PM
After reading the details properly, if they were forced to pay royalties then first image (now removed but it must have been pretty similar) the redesign is what the second case is about so they were told not to use one image and then decided to use one with similar details, I can understand why the case arose. I guess without seeing the first picture New England Teas used we shouldn't really be blaming either side
JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 58 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 10:43AM
Whilst both parties here are clearly more interested in business branding than photography, i do believe this is an area of concern as future legal judgements are built on prior judgements.

In the way that companies collect patents purely to try and exploit anyone that can make money from similar ideas I could now see stock photography sites looking a new famous or brand photo's to match similar photo's to prior art it has access too - then of course lawyers could approach the new photo user's company etc and sue or settle out of court for similar images.

As well as colour popped London buses, I wonder who sells say, vignetted colour photo's with a bride and groom in the centre, and i also wonder who owns the first photo like this?
Our photo's could end up as pawns in the ambulance chasing lawyers money grabbing games if judgement like the above are upheld.

No doubt amateurs would still be fine producing their own work for personal use, but professionals generating income from images could be forced to apply for something like a patent in time to remove litigation risk from the image purchaser.

Yes there should be copyright and very similar images (like some of those Athena type posters) should be protected, but colour popped busses - No way !
meercat 11 278 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 11:54AM
As a few of us have said, it runs deeper than that, the company who claimed copyright had had a photograph of theirs used by the tea company without authority, when they were made to pay royalties, they later took a similar image themselves to use, which is just a way to avoid paying the royalties, it isn't really to do with the idea being copyrighted but to do with one company knowingly copying an image to avoid having to pay for it's use, after having been caught using the image without permission.

I the tea company had used their own image from the start then this case would not have occurred.
newfocus 14 647 2 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 12:52PM
I suspect this case on it's own won't have a huge impact on most photographers but interestingly the same kind of debate's going on in software, i.e. it used to be the case that two programmers could write similar software based on the same basic idea and as long as one hadn't actually copied the other's work directly, it was fine. Some folks want to change that but I think it's mental personally to do so and damages innovation and creativity. Every creative work's based to some extent on inspiration from other creative works - that's the way it works best and that's how we gradually refine and improve ideas.
pabloisme 10 566 England
27 Jan 2012 1:02PM

Quote:Just saw this on FB:
Photographers who compose a picture in a similar way to an existing image risk copyright infringement, lawyers have warned following the first court ruling of its kind.



AH! BUT WHEN TRANSPORT FOR LONDON GOES FOR THE[b] IMAGE RIGHTS[/b] ALL WILL BE SCREWED!

(BOTH OF THEM AS i AM EMAILING TfL NOW)

then WE CAN HAVE THE PHOTO POLICE OUT!
Just Jas Plus
18 26.3k 1 England
27 Jan 2012 1:52PM
No more pictures of robins on twigs / barb wire etc then?

Hooray! Tongue

What a loasd of cods!!!
JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 58 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 2:29PM
If you want start protecting your creations here is a site that in this instance is protecting a "London Transport bus is a wraparound design for a mug"
http://myfreecopyright.com/registered_mcn/C7A33-AE4B8-03C13

There are lots - here are some for Christmas cards images http://myfreecopyright.com/browse/copyright/Christmas%20Card%20?p=5

It sounds like speculative domain squatting a few years back to me!
Pat_Stones 8 129 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 3:08PM
You're already protected by law. These kind of sites panic people into doing things they probably don't need to.
Jestertheclown 11 8.3k 253 England
27 Jan 2012 4:18PM

Quote:AH! BUT WHEN TRANSPORT FOR LONDON GOES FOR THE IMAGE RIGHTS ALL WILL BE SCREWED!

(BOTH OF THEM AS i AM EMAILING TfL NOW)

then WE CAN HAVE THE PHOTO POLICE OUT!


Pardon?
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:27PM
I have rented a Babel Fish at great expense to translate Pablo-speak:


When the London bus runs over a policeman London Transport will have the image rights to our e-mails.


Or something like that...Tongue

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