Copyright piracy case over Haiti earthquake photos distributed online

When an earthquake struck Haiti in January, the pictures taken by veteran photojournalist Daniel Morel became the iconic images of the disaster, reproduced countless times all over the world.Many people would remember one especially: Morel’s harrowing picture of a dust-covered woman staring up into the camera with shocked, reddened eyes from where she lies in the rubble.Now those images are at the centre of an unprecedented court battle, with Morel alleging global newsagency Agence France-Presse distributed them in breach of his copyright after downloading them from the microblogging site Twitter.”It’s a ground-breaking case,” Morel’s lawyer, Barbara Hoffman, told Media. “There are no cases I’m aware of that really deal with this kind of piracy, where a news service takes images and . . . sells them. It’s about the use of the internet, in some ways.”

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