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Another Blogger Gets Legal Threats

By Greg L | 1 March 2008 | Blogs | 5 Comments

One of the more interesting and creative blogs out there in Virginia, “Snapped Shot”, which focuses on commentary about the photographs that illustrate various news stories, has received a Cease & Desist letter from the Associated Press and has now been taken down.  Just how does one provide commentary on the bias, or outright fraud that happens with photojournalists if you can’t provide your audience the picture you are commenting on?

This could be a really interesting case regarding fair use of copyrighted materials.  If anyone wants to make their career by plowing some new legal fields, they should contact Brian Ledbetter immediately.

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  1. redawn said on 1 Mar 2008 at 4:50 pm:
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    Could it have anything to do with he HR 1955 bill?

  2. Spank That Donkey said on 1 Mar 2008 at 5:20 pm:
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    In what way is Snapped Shot damaging the AP by reprinting their photos, and doing so with a non for profit blog?

    If he is linking back to the source, then he is driving traffic to that source and providing them with a service. i.e. he is providing them with ‘click thru’s’ and not being compensated by the AP.

    I would love to be able to take photos, post them on my site, and have 1000 blogs link to me every day as the source of those photos… Caching! Goes the cash register (to attract advertisers), and the value of my URL and blog/website.

    Our local rag called the Staunton News Leader readily admits they editorialize against Conservative views to create controversy and get people to read their paper.

    There aren’t any damages… if AP said I wanted $.25 from you to reproduce our images on your website, (like Istock photos from which I have bought plenty), that is one thing. But to sue a blogger for referencing their photos, that they put out in the public to discuss media bias… points to a couple of things..

    That the real damage is too the AP’s credibility, & that they do not like it, and wish to infringe upon Snapped Shots First Amendment Rights for commenting upon evidence the AP itself puts into the public realm.

    That the AP is using the tried and true, ‘we got more time, money and lawyers’ than you. So much for being for the little guy… except when the little guy is poking you in the eye with a stick.

    It will be interesting to see how the Lefty bloggers react to this…

  3. Pat.Herve said on 1 Mar 2008 at 7:25 pm:
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    Did he print (display) the photos, or provide a link to the photo.

    If he displayed the photo, he would be infringing on the copyrights of the photo.

  4. James Young said on 1 Mar 2008 at 9:38 pm:
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    I don’t know, Greg. Wish I knew more about copyright law. If critiquing their actions is not “fair use,” I don’t know what is.

  5. /\/\3|)iç 64 (Winner of the BVBL 40k and 50k post award) said on 3 Mar 2008 at 12:49 pm:
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    Pat.Herve said on 1 Mar 2008 at 7:25 pm:

    Not if he directly credited them with the photo. He could use the image tag to link back to them, then he isn’t “displaying” the photo, but linking to their display of it. There are ways around this. I believe it is the fact the AP got caught with their pants around their ankles and have been embarrassed. The we have more money, time and lawyers bit is the reason they took it down. A good attorney will help you keep the photo up, but they cost money.

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