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Haitian photographer wins $1.22 million in damages

Daniel Morel awarded 1.2 million dollars

Photographer Daniel Morel has won a major copyright victory concerning photos he took during the 2010 Haitian earthquake. After a four year battle, a Manhattan jury awarded him $1.22 million in damages.

Daniel Morel awarded 1.2 million dollars
Daniel Morel seen here on the right © Rikki Reich

Daniel had shared the images he took of the earthquake on Twitter. These images were then used by Getty Images and Agence France-Presse in their publications, without the photographer’s consent. The jury verdict found them guilty of copyright infringement.

With millions of images being exchanged online by anyone with a smartphone or a camera, the market for professional photographers has become a lot smaller and tougher. Yet, many large publications continue to earn a lot of revenue through these images.

Decisions such as this one should help to reduce copyright violations and keep the true spirit of photography alive.

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