A major electronic media copyright issue. Agence France-Presse is arguing that “Twitter’s terms of service allow third parties broad re-use rights to their content, and thus the photographer’s selection of this mode of digital distribution gave AFP a broad license to redistribute the photographer’s images without consent from the photographer.” Yikes.
The big issue for me is that Agence France-Presse actually LICENSED the photos they took from a photographer who tweeted images from the Haitian earthquake. The photographer is currently — and justifiably — in legal proceedings with the media company. What AFP did was simply wrong. Sadly, this is not uncommon. Last week, I learned that the photos of someone I know was snagged by a Chinese publication that slapped their own watermark on his images and gave him no credit. I’m not a fan of strict copyright rules, particularly since they usually favor corporations with the resources to duke it out in courts, but I do believe in crediting people for their work.
Here is an interesting blog post from last year on the Human Rights blog for the Center for Research Libraries-Global Resources Network that outlines some of the evolving copyright issues that users of Twitter agree to when they sign-up for the service.