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 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.