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Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:10 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Important Copyright Case Law Reversal

Appeals Court Vacates Greenberg Decision

A 2001 court awarded $400,000 damage to the photographer who's work was included in a CD rom of back issues of National Geographic together with a search engine ans other tools because it was a new product in a new medium.

Now this has been reversed and the award vacated as the court finds a publisher can reuse your pictures in a compilation CD!

source
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 06:04 AM
Edward Bussa Edward Bussa is offline
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Six years to lose an appeal? Sheesh!

The referenced source is a well written article though. It tells of all the other cases that were to shed new light on the case during the six year appeal.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 04:22 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Ed,

I'm not implying the National Geographic is wrong. What it does say is that even if you spend hard cash to protect your rights, and even win you could lose everything later! That's sad and intimidating!

The better thing to do would be to have binding arbitration either before or after the settlement.

The problem is that legal fees could be a great proportion of the settlement.

So here, the fees might have been $150,000 and the award $400,000 would leave $25,000.

However, with a settlement done early when legal fees are $15,000, a negotiated settlement of say $50,000 would at least put $35,000 secure real US$s in your pocket!

This is a warning to photographers to check out the small print. The picture you have taken is how you put bread on your table.

The danger of lawyers is that the large offices, good manners, erudite talk and confident charm can lead us to spending and keep spending while they churn "billing hours"! That's fine if they win a case and you keep the money on appeal. However, look ahead and ask, "Can we negotiate?" If so, then you cut the cost, get a decision and continue on with your life. You cannot buy your time back.

A disapointment is when your good lawyer comes to you after a year and tells you that you should negotiate a settlement. Then you feel cheated. Why couldn't this have been thought of earlier? Now this is not always possible. In my mind, the lawers job is to get you to that settlement as early as possible.

To get an idea of what's going on, watch how lawyers in opposite sides of a caqse are really comrades in arms just playing a legal game of squash with you picking up the bill! That they play hard, is not denied. However, maybe that's not the game you want.

Imagine how much in legal fees the photographer had to pay in this case and now it's all for nothing!

Asher
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