What a busy week in the world of copyright and photographers/artists rights. Where to start? The two of us have both been busy with what we like to call “work” and are just getting around to posting this current stuff.

Let’s start with Google Images settling with Getty. Google agreed to remove the “view image” button from Google Images.  When you hit the now disappeared button, it took you directly to the image file, which made downloading stealing it, much easier.  Will this stop people from stealing images? No, but it will mean you will now have to click through to the website where the image is located and take the extra steps to steal it. That will help.

Google Images also removed the “search by image” feature that showed you similar images.  Again, making it one step harder to locate and steal images.  Lastly, Google will now make the “may be subject to copyright protection” wording much more prominent near the image instead of off in a corner.

The next item in this week’s calendar is a ruling with a summary judgement motion by the defendant in the Justin Goldman v Breitbart, et al court case. This one is potentially a biggie. Actually much more than a biggie, more like a huge-ie. There is a lot more to this case that could have a major impact on how images are used on the Internet. We’ll be following this closely and reporting as the case moves along, but the ruling basically says, and this is a basic, simplified explanation, is that embedding a photo violates a copyright owner’s right of display.  Several news organizations, named in the suit, took one of Justin Goldman’s photos of Tom Brady (just how much controversy can a sports star be involved in? Look out Alex Rodriguez, Brady is breaking more records. Brady’s not a party in this case, it’s just about a photo of him) and the news organizations embedded the code to point to the photo from someone’s Twitter feed of Justin Goldman’s Snapchat upload. Previous cases have stated that this is not copying, because the image doesn’t reside on the news organization’s servers, just the code to point to it where it does live. But this ruling expands what the right of display means, that not having physical control doesn’t mean you are not displaying the image. Again, this is a simplistic explanation, we urge you readers to read the 25 page ruling linked here goldman_v_breitbart-opinion. Reading the actual court documents clarifies a lot. And a lot more than Internet discussions that don’t understand the ruling.

The judge in this case is also going to look into is posting on Snapchat constitutes placing it into public domain. This case looks like the potential of being a huge blockbuster for artist’s rights. But it can be a wonderful blockbuster or a horrendous blockbuster. It all depends on how the ruling and decisions come down. But do read the actual case filings, not the comments sections of various photo blogs. We’ve read some and it is so bad, we’re staying as far away from those comment sections as possible. We think you could post “The sky is blue” in the comments section and you’ll be attacked and argued against. In any case, stay tuned to this one.

Do read  Kalliope Amorphous’s blog piece about the search firm, Image Rights International, that we point to in our previous post. It’s getting some good movement which it deserves. We recommend for all to read her piece and let your friends know about it.

Lastly, the two of us did a Q&A session at B&H’s Event Space last week. We did a short presentation and then took questions from the people attending at B&H and from those online. The session is posted on the B&H Event Space Facebook page, but with a 4 minute leader before it starts. The tech started way early. They will trim that part off when it gets uploaded to YouTube. We’ll post that link here when it goes live, but until then, you can see it on Facebook (after you advance about 4 minutes) at this link.

Here are some photos that our friend Bill King took. You know Bill is a great photographer, as he made us look good and almost lifelike. Thanks Bill.

All Photos © 2018 Bill King