Support photographer Daniel Morel

DANIEL MOREL is a Haitian-born photojournalist. On 12 January he opened a Twitter account and uploaded to www.twitpic.com photographs that he had taken of that day's earthquake in Port au Prince - hoping that his images would reach the world and that he would receive remuneration and credit for them.

Later on the same day, Lisandro Suero of the Dominican Republic, pirates Morel's images and put them on his Twitter page. Agence France Presse (AFP) bought the pictures from Lisandro Suero's account, without Mr. Morel's knowledge or permission. It credited them "AFP/Getty Lisandro Suero". The photos were distributed to the wire's subscribers and members and used in multiple media around the world - without crediting Morel nor remunerating him.

In March 2010, AFP decided to sue Daniel Morel. It claimed that Morel provided a non-exclusive licence to use his photographs through Twitter, that Morel was responsible for "commercial defamation" due to his lawyer's correspondence with third parties alleging that AFP infringed Morel's copyright, and accuses Morel of making unreasonable demands amounting to "antagonistic assertion of rights".

The European Federation of Journalists is sending our support to Daniel Morel. We express our deep concerns over the abuse made by AFP of copyright protected content published on social media without seeking prior authorisation nor offering any remuneration to the author. We call on social media to adopt clear, unambiguous terms of conditions that respect authors' rights (moral and economic rights) and limit any non-exclusive licence granted to users to specific, non- commercial uses only.

  • Meanwhile in Chile, writer Pablo Huneeus has moved to assert the copyright of miner Jose Ojeda in his note "Estamos bien en el refugio los 33" ("We are okay in the refuge, the 33 of us"). Chile's President "reportedly considers the message part of the national heritage" and has been handing out copies to heads of state.
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