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Photography Copyrights: Photographer Wins $1.2 Million for Twitter Photos

By Eric Misterovich

A photographer has won $1.2 million in damages in a copyright infringement lawsuit stemming from the theft of images from Twitter. Daniel Morel obtained the judgement after he sued Getty Images and Agence France-Presse for copyright infringement. AFP filed the lawsuit in 2010, which sought a declaratory judgment that the agency had not infringed upon Mr. Morel’s copyright rights. Mr. Morel then filed his own counterclaims for images that he took of the 2010 earthquake in his native Haiti that were purportedly taken from Twitter and used commercially by the agencies.

The agencies argued that the Twitter terms of use agreement supported their use. The Court, however, found that the Twitter terms of use agreement allowed for retweeting, but not commercial use of the photographs. After the Court found the two agencies liable in January, Mr. Morel obtained $1.2 million for copyright infringement in a trial on damages.

If you are a photographer who seeks copyright advice, contact our copyright infringement attorneys, who are well versed in photography copyrights, at 855-473-8474.

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