ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Archive for the ‘legal issues’ Category

I just caught an interesting piece over on Photo Editor. It’s about a photographer who has encountered some legal difficulties while photographing graffiti. I found it interesting because a few years back I had played with the idea of photographing graffiti. The main difference is I was planning on photographing just the “art” and not the “artist.”

On February 4th 2010, photographer Jonas Lara an Art Center Graduate and former United States Marine, was photographing 2 graffiti artists painting a mural in Los Angeles. An LAPD helicopter spotted the group, then a patrol car came in and arrested Jonas and the Graffiti Artists (or vandals depending on how you feel about graffiti). He was initially charged with Felony Vandalism which was later lowered to a misdemeanor and then changed to Aiding and Abetting which carries a 1 year sentence. His jury trial is set for May 12th (Tuesday).

This story has been bouncing around the internet for a little while now and I’ve wanted to write about it, but not without talking to a lawyer first. PDN has a story (here) that does little more than gloss over Jonas’s side of the case. I wanted to understand what rights journalists have in these types of situations so I asked the Photo Attorney, Carolyn E. Wright a couple question.

Read the rest of the article here.

Some answers to some very good questions about copyright.

What is copyright? Despite numerous articles spread across the internet, discussion in books, on TV and in magazines some people still do not seem to understand copyright. So in a non-legalistic jargon free way I am going to explain it again – because judging by how many pictures get stolen many people still do not seem to get it.

  • How do you get copyright?
  • What does having copyright mean?
  • What is the difference between copyright and plagiarism
  • Exceptions
  • The consequences [via Beyond the Obvious]

Read the rest of the article and find answers to these questions.

Sure they can when it’s a mug shot. But what about when you’re out and about in public spaces?

Two years ago, a Pennsylvania man was thrown in jail for 160 days for refusing to allow police to take his picture.

A federal judge last week, however, ruled against local police and in favor of Gregory Bush, who was not charged with any crime on May 17, 2007, when a Lancaster, Pa., officer demanded to take the man’s photo. Only after refusing to have his picture taken did the police subdue him, charge him with obstruction of justice and toss him in jail. [via World Net Daily]

Read the rest of the story.

Last week in New York City, a fan of trains was arrested for photographing a train. It might be funny if it didn’t keep happening.

Robert S. Taylor of Brooklyn was taking photos for fun last Thursday in a subway station. Police saw him and cited him for unauthorized photography, disorderly conduct/unreasonable voice and impeding traffic.

The charge of unauthorized photography – a crime that doesn’t exist – has already been dropped, Taylor says.

“It’s almost embarrassing,” Taylor says. “It was a waste of everybody’s time.” [via PDN]

Read the rest of the story.

The Associated Press says it believes the photo that inspired artist Shepard Fairey’s celebrated “Hope” poster of Barack Obama is AP property, and Fairey is guilty of infringement. The AP is in talks with Fairey’s attorney.

“The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission,” AP spokesperson Paul Colford said in a written statement issued February 4. “AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey’s attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution.”

Earlier this year, bloggers identified the source photograph as an AP photo shot by photographer Mannie Garcia in 2006. Garcia is no longer with the AP. [via PDN]

Read the rest of the story.

Phosita explains this very succintly and very clearly.

Considering how complex intellectual property law can be, it is understandable that many people – including authors, journalists, biz and tech bloggers, tweeple, etc. – confuse the terms and oftentimes speak/write of “patenting a book” or “copywriting a new gadget”.  I also receive a large number of requests asking for advice on how to “copyright an idea” – so, I thought it would be helpful to lay out a short and concise explanation of each area of intellectual property law. [via Phosita]

A must read for anyone considering protecting their intellectual property.

Social networks such as Facebook can be helpful to your business. But before you click the “Sign Up” button, take a moment to read the Terms of Use, which state:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant . . . to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. [via Photo Attorney]

Good advice once again from the Photo Attorney.



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  • thebail: Reblogged this on Underwater Ap
  • Veronica Lynne: Did you use it? It's RODEO time! That might make a good pic for the fb page to.
  • Veronica Lynne: Certainly. I am flattered. Just give credit--ChromaticSoul Photos. Also, I would love to see how you use it. The rodei is this weekend! Veronica Lynn