On a Hamptons sidewalk, guy with a cell phone, Justin Goldman, sees New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge talking. Justin takes a picture and posts it to his Snapchat story. Someone else uploads Justin’s picture to Reddit where it goes viral and winds up on Twitter, among other social media platforms. Publishers, including Breitbart, Time, Vox, and Yahoo, embedded the tweets in articles about the Brady/Ainge sighting, and Justin sued for copyright infringement. Distinguishing legal precedent going back 10 years, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest found for Justin. She ruled “when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right.” It’s likely that had the publishers included links to Justin’s photo rather than embedding the actual image in their articles, they would have been safe. (Remember Playboy’s case against BoingBoing? That case was recently dismissed.) Read more.
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