When Fair Use Maybe Isn’t

Over at the Poynter Institute, Steve Myers has a story about the Portland Press Herald which picked up a woman’s photo off of her Flickr account and then, without attribution or her permission, published it. The paper has agreed to pay the photographer for the usage.

The publication claimed they could use the image under the Fair Use segment of copyright law, going so far as to publish (and later takedown) an explanation of their interpretation of fair use.

My thoughts? Hmmmmm …. maybe. There is a link to the photo in question in the Poynter story, but it’s pretty banal – I’m not sure its value is any greater than a first-person report of what happened.

Mark E. Johnson

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