Haitian photojournalist Daniel Morel was in a school in Port au Prince teaching students how to make Facebook pages on 12 January - when that earthquake hit the island. So he took some pictures, and showed the students how to upload them and how to announce them on Twitter.
Excellent pedagogy there, though accounts of the exact situation differ. And the learning continues. Agence France Presse picked the pictures up from Twitter and they appeared in publications around the world. Now Charles Swan of law firm Swan Turton reports that Morel is suing AFP and photo ueber-agency Getty for selling his pictures without a licence, claiming statutory damages under US law of up to $150,000 per picture. And AFP is counter-suing, arguing that Twitter users intend their tweets to be publicly available and to be broadly distributed through the internet and other media.
Without wishing to prejudice these cases, the Freelance suggests reading the terms and conditions on "sharing" websites very carefully before, er, sharing. See our report of Gary Herman's advice at the September meeting: www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0909herm.html We observe that blogger.com recently and suddenly claimed the right to use images of your pages on its site, for example.