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Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright

By Richard Butler on Jan 25, 2012 at 02:52 GMT

Amateur Photographer magazine has published an interesting story about a copyright infringement case of similar, but not directly copied, images. The issue of copyright is thorny, contentious and often misunderstood but this case sheds some light on the current attitude of courts in the UK. Despite significant differences between the two images (there was no implication that the second image was a duplicate of the first), the court found that the second image copied substantially from the 'intellectual creation' of the first (that is the elements that can be protected by copyright in the original image, including a consideration of the composition, lighting and processing of the image).

Amateur Photographer quotes photographic copyright expert Charles Swan as saying: 'The judgement should be studied by anyone imitating an existing photograph or commissioning a photograph based on a similar photograph.'

Meanwhile, Jane Lambert - a barrister specialising in intellectual property law - has written an excellent blog post on the case, in which she concludes 'although I follow the logic I feel very uneasy at Judge Birss's decision in Temple Island. It seems to come very close to protecting copyright in an idea as opposed to expression.'

The judge concluded that the claimant (Justin Fielder)'s image is original and that the intellectual creation resided both in the compositional elements of the image and the contrast aspects. Specifically, Judge Birss QC highlighted two visual contrasts: 'one between the bright red bus and the monochrome background, and the other between the blank white sky and the rest of the photograph.'

He also took into account the evidence that Mr Houghton was aware of Mr Fielder's image (the two had previously been to court when they had failed to reach a licensing agreement over Houghton's previous infringement of Fielder's copyright), to conclude the similarities were causally related.

In the end, Birss  said a difficult decision hinged on a 'qualitative assessment of the reproduced elements.' He defined Fielder's image a 'photographic work,' as distinct from a simply a photograph, in that 'its appearance is the product of deliberate choices and also deliberate manipulations by the author,' and concluded that those aspects had been copied.

Judge Birss also said that a series of images showing buses on Westminster Bridge and of red London icons on monochrome backgrounds submitted by Houghton 'worked against them because the collection has served to emphasize how different ostensibly independent expressions of the same idea actually look.'

Justin Fielder's copyright in his image (top) was deemed to have been infringed by
Nick Houghton's image (bottom).

Comments

Total comments: 738
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kaybsteve
By kaybsteve (Jan 27, 2012)

can we still capture an image of the moon or the eiffel tower or big ben etc. anymore because someone else has shot that already?

2 upvotes
J R R S
By J R R S (Jan 27, 2012)

This is so Wrong!...

The technique is in common use, the sceen is common and the object is commen.

The image is very pridictable and does not constitue a copy right of processing technique or photography.

This is like copy righting a portrait shot, shot with a low DOF and digitaly processed with a soft focus effect.... or a macro of a bee processed to look like the world in UV...

The work was not used - copy right was not broaken.... this needs to be appealed!

0 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 27, 2012)

>The work was not used - copy right was not broaken.... this needs to be appealed!

Read the full judgment. The guy purposefully set out to copy the original image (i.e. he did use the original image) and put it on his packaging of Tea in order to improve sales. These facts are not in dispute.

The judge also said that if the defendant had never seen the original image then he would not have ruled as he did. It was specifically because the defendant intentionally set out to copy the image (but tried to make it different enough so that he could get away with it).

Furthermore, in the final ruling, the judge ordered the defendant to just remove the image from the tins of Tea.

1 upvote
J R R S
By J R R S (Jan 27, 2012)

then Correnation street should sue East Enders...

Or Simpsons should sue Family guy???

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Jan 27, 2012)

Tea Party -- in London?

0 upvotes
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

Karl, you're equivocating that it's a copy. He did not copy the image here. He simply created another photo entirely. Saying that a photo is a copy of another in spite of it not being so at all is very problematic. It depends on the judge equivocating numerous things which expand the scope of copyright to cause photos that are NOT copies to be infringing.

0 upvotes
Mark Ransom
By Mark Ransom (Jan 27, 2012)

I guess any vacation to the UK is now a bad idea, given my profile picture...

2 upvotes
QuentinUK
By QuentinUK (Jan 26, 2012)

It doesn't matter how similar Fielder's photo is to previous photos because he did not copy them.

It doesn't matter how different Houghton's is from Fielder's because he did copy some of it.

(This is not like patenting inventions, where only the first inventor can get (and keep) a patent).

The judge said Houghton could have got an independent photographer who had not seen the original to provide a photograph of a red bus on the bridge with Parliament and Big Ben.

(This is similar to how IBM PC's (the BIOS), were cloned, they had programmers in one lab analysing the code and passing instructions to programmers in another lab who were not allowed to see the original.)

0 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (Jan 26, 2012)

The judge seems to have a different interpretation of "composition" than photographers. We think of it as the way the photo is artistically arranged. The judge just sums the elements in it: a bus, buildings, white sky, red-grey contrast.

2 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jan 26, 2012)

Hmm. If I see a chair I like in furniture store, and then come home and build one just like it so I don't have to pay for the original, am I infringing on their copyright?

Does that change if the day before I tried to take the chair out of the store, but was stopped by the staff?

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jan 26, 2012)

Or if I was there with a friend, and they said they were interested in buying the chair, and I said "Don't worry, I'll build you one the same for less", is that infringing on their copyright?

And if I make the chair slightly different, so as to try and *not* infringe on their copyright, but it still is the same style, has the same number of legs, is a similar shape, has similar fabric and seat padding, is the same height and width, does that change whether or not I'm infringing?

I think what we really need is a w***er / d***head law. Then Nick could have been fined for being a d***head for not paying for the original, and/or Justin could have been fined for being a w***er for taking it to court. And we could have left the copyright law alone.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

Formally speaking, yes you are. Nevertheless, if you are not going to open a furniture shop selling your copies, or try to sell "your design" to another manufacturer, you probably will not be disturbed. If you do, you can be prosecuted.

If you showed with your actions that you were familiar with it, and wanted to possess one, it probably would be considered as an evidence that you indeed copied the design, rather than arrived at it independently, and will reinforce the copyright claim of the original manufacturer.

Speaking of chairs, the iconic tulip chair by Eero Saarinen is still being produced by the same Knoll company for which it was designed, but you can also buy replicas. I don't know whether Knoll can't prosecute the replicas, or chooses not to.

0 upvotes
david mackenzie
By david mackenzie (Jan 26, 2012)

I live in London and see a lot of photographers work on market stalls in Covent Garden and Greenwich and the B&W pictures of London landmarks with buses or postboxes or letter boxes coloured in red are so common that they make me cringe. Infact I remamber these in the 80's when they were handcolured in red and I may have even been guily of it myself! This can't be infringement of copyright as its not an original idea. If this guy has got away with this then I'm going to start legal proceedings against anyone who does the standard picture of their wife looking like they are holding up the Leaning Tower of Piza as I did that first 30 years ago!

1 upvote
joepix
By joepix (Jan 27, 2012)

Uh... sorry. I shot my girlfriend holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa 32 years ago.

0 upvotes
GreenmanToo
By GreenmanToo (Jan 27, 2012)

Funny this is...I used a loaner Nex7 for a few hours in London and produced very similar shots using the Selective Colour menu option.
Now, do I get sued? Or does Sony?

1 upvote
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jan 26, 2012)

I'm actually quite surprised that anyone would want to try and copy the original photograph in the first place. Even more surprised that anyone would want to pay for it!

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

Part of what the judge said is if the reason you did not copy it is because you did not want to pay for it, then you violated the copyright. That's a weired logic.

If I did not copy it, then the case should be over. It does not matter why I did not copy it.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

Exactly Diy, the judge made a logical mistake. You've dissected the whole case.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

To put it another absurd way: If you say that J-Walking is illegal, and you make a special effort not to J-Walk, yet you're given a fine for J-Walking because you were trying so hard not to J-Walk that you had a guilty intent.

1 upvote
Sante Patate
By Sante Patate (Jan 26, 2012)

This is just bizarre. Stock libraries and the photographers who sell them stock are worried because this might mean all their images breach copyright? So, it was fine for them to steal other people's ideas, but their images, with no distinctive elements at all, had to be protected by strictly enforced rules? I am afraid not.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

What people worried about is that they define "stealing" too broad. Many people feel that there are singificant differences between the two pictures.

And intent not to pay is interpreted as intent to copy. Having seen a picture and interacted with an author is used as evidence of copying.

Each photographyer probably will see thousands of pictures in his career and many may have interacted with many other photographers. In a similar case, the judge could use the same argument to claim all photographs are copies of others.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zoran K
By Zoran K (Jan 26, 2012)

This case potentially has devastating consequences for commercial image and stock libraries !

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

It is not so clear. It can be quite beneficial for the photographers who are creative, at the expense of the copycats.

Stock photography earnings plunged when cameras became intelligent enough to produce high quality images in automatic modes, and not all photographers were thrilled by that.

I don't think at this time it's possible to say how it will pan out.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

But the more the laws get invovled, the less fair it is to ordinary people, who do not have the resources to fight legal battles.

Eventually, the big companies/names will own everything. Just look at the IT industry today. It does not help creation, it only helps big companies.

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

This is true, IP laws are often (even may be most of the time) abused nowadays. There has to be a middle ground somewhere.

Nevertheless, it seems that art is often replaced with craft these days, and I think that the ease of reproduction is one of the reasons for that.

Also, whatever the differences between Fielder's and Houghton's images there are, for their commercial use they are pretty much equivalent. Copyright exists not to simply prevent people from reproducing art, but to protect financial interests of the original artist. From that point of view Houghton's image definitely presented a competition, and it was unfair, because Houghton's image was rip off.

I understand that it's hard to swallow that Fielder's considered an original, but AFAIK nobody found a version with spot coloring and cut-out sky blah blah... that was dated before Feb 2006. Until such a version is located Fielder is the original artist.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Jan 26, 2012)

Obviously the infringement decision is based on the 'artistic' element with the red bus and b/w background. In fact, the composition in the 'infringed' image is far superior than the original, where the red bus seems little more than an afterthought.
If that's not so, then nice to know that two people can't take an image in the same spot without having their attorney's present..

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

Obviously you did not read the complete text of the ruling. Your starting point is incorrect, so your conclusion does not have anything to do with this case either.

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Jan 27, 2012)

Oh thank you mr Russky expert for being so mouthy and setting me straight!

0 upvotes
v2005t
By v2005t (Jan 26, 2012)

I wonder if dpreview has got permission to publish those copyright-protected pictures :-o

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Jan 26, 2012)

Intellectual property laws wrt. invention disclosures state that it must be not only novel vs. the prior art, but also be non-trivial or non-obvious to those *skilled* in the art. Copyright may relax the constraints, and yet i wonder:

Novelty: Prior art has been established by millions, possibly more, of previous similar (location-wise) images, B/W, color, static, moving, recorded, painted, drawn etc.

Triviality: The classic test is to assign the task at hand to a large class of (e.g.) graduate students in the respective field. Provide a reasonable time frame and then judge the outcome of the class.

High probability that a percentage of results would be monochrome, with a red double-decker (Focal B&W in Picasa, 1-click)...

this rulisng establishes a dangerous precedent, IMHO. Mitch

0 upvotes
Sante Patate
By Sante Patate (Jan 26, 2012)

No, it establishes no precedent whatever. This is bog standard copyright law.

Copyright does not have a prior art defence - it has an independent creation defence - and if A copies a picture of B that is a breach of B's copyright, even if B's picture was of a kitten on a cushion with pink ribbons.

1 upvote
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

Interesting, but the defendent made attempts not to copy (not be identical with the original), but why the judge used that fact against them?

0 upvotes
thephotobox
By thephotobox (Jan 26, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2FOrx41N0

Interesting lecture on copyright. If you took the fashion model and applied it to photography, anyone could make their own version of any photo from scratch.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
dennis mol
By dennis mol (Jan 26, 2012)

Maybe I will get slammed for copy infringement. I don’t have time to go thru all the comments. I have to say I think this is ridiculous. These two pictures have a different point of view and a different perspective. They have in common the color of the bus. So what if the one was using the other for inspiration. This is a technique widely used. Just look at all of the wedding photographers who have used it, and ever since the digital era.
The history of art is full of artists copying aspects of other’s work. An awful lot of art would have to come down from the walls were that not allowed. This is an overreaching grab. It suppresses the development of art. It is too high a price to pay.

3 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Jan 26, 2012)

If the original artist does not pay aesthetic or copyright fees to anyone ( city or people of London, families of those who built or designed the city, etc), he/she cannot charge copyright on a supposedly original ( all original things only happen inside studios in my view ) art where the inarguably main elements of the photo are other artists’ creative expressions in civil design and architecture -- not to mention the double decker or the individual who chose that specific shade of red.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Jan 26, 2012)

This is yet again another example of ''expert'' judgment on an issue, in this case digital photography, where the judge has no expertise of idiosyncrasies and details in what is meant by digital or the term photography. This is hideous misjudgment. I can ask Sir Sugar to fund a three months shoot of the Westminster Bridge by a group of 1000 professional photographers. Each assigned to take 20,000 shots of the Bridge and its traffic day and night. After 90 days, we have 1.8 billion photos. Then I get a Photoshop nerd to batch process combinations and permutations of all affects on each photo to create 1000 variations on each photo. We get 1.8 trillion. A few dual six cores can do it in a few days probably. Then I publish and copyright each one of them. I can then sit and sue anyone’s pants who will take a shot of this magnificent bridge again !!

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Jan 26, 2012)

Alas, while you could "sue anyone's pants" who takes a shot of the bridge and background, you won't win if you you go in fromt of the judge who handled this case.

The person accused of infringement started by misappropriating the original image, which was in commercial use, and used it for his own commercial purposes. When caught, his response was to go out and try to replicate the exact look and feel of the original and use the replica, again for commercial purposes. Taking your scenario, unless you managed to make commercial use of your 1.8 trillion images, you wouldn't have a valid claim against anyone who deliberately created a photograph that had the look & feel of one of your 1.8 trillion, and then used it himself/herself for commercial gain.

Read the judgement -- it's interesting and educational.

1 upvote
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

I don't know the law, but why commercial use is so important? If my photo is not used commericially, then my photo is not protected by copyright laws?

I think people are confusing copyright with trademark or patent.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 27, 2012)

Commercial use is so important with copywrite because infringment is a civil offense. So it's up to the victim to take someone to court for infringment.

The only reason anyone would go to the expense of taking someone to court for copywrite infringment is if it were likely to result in financial gain. But that's not to say someone could do it for the principal of the matter.

Put another way... your photos are protected by copywrite. If some kid copies that image and puts on his mantle piece and passes it off as his own, you might politely ask him to stop passing it off as his own. But you most likely wouldn't take him to court.

But, if someone stole your image and put it on their product in order to advertise it... advertising that would have otherwise cost thousands of pounds (or millions in some cases) you'd be more likely to pursue it in court.

0 upvotes
RubberDials
By RubberDials (Jan 26, 2012)

Astonishing how many people can't seem to understand this article - it's as if they can only hold one sentence of the ruling in their head at one time.

How many people have posted 'how can you copyright a picture of a bus' type posts... There are NO implications for most photographers from this ruling unless they set out to reproduce the key elements of a manipulated image for commercial gain that they once failed to reach a licensing agreement over.

It's one of the reasons I don't post much on these forums anymore. You have to explain your point over and over as no one seems to understand more than simple predictable phrases.

1 upvote
psn
By psn (Jan 26, 2012)

"There are NO implications for most photographers from this ruling unless they set out to reproduce the key elements of a manipulated image for commercial gain that they once failed to reach a licensing agreement over."

If it's a direct copy of the original photo then you would have been correct. But this is a totally different photo even though it employed the same idea or even the same process. Maybe you can try to patent the process you used to create the photograph... good luck with that.

Yes, it's annoying to explain things over and over, just as it is annoying to read misinformation over and over.

1 upvote
Sante Patate
By Sante Patate (Jan 26, 2012)

No: copyright infringement does not require "a direct copy", or an exact copy, or a complete copy. Never has, nowhere in the world. It is a breach to copy elements that are "substantial" - meaning qualitatively, not quantitatively.

It is and has been for years the law in both Europe and the USA that a "totally different photo" that copies "the key elements of a manipulated image" is a breach of copyright.

1 upvote
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

Another thing I don't quite understand is that the intension here played a significant role in the ruling, but that shouldn't be a copyright issue, right?

3 upvotes
psn
By psn (Jan 26, 2012)

Correct. This will be overturned on appeal and the judge should be reprimanded and sent back to school.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

The intent is not a part of the copyright itself, but it is a part of the evidence that Houghton's work is a replication.

He used the original image illegally at first, and then he created another image for the same type of use. His intention to replace the original shows that similarities between two images are not accidental, but intentional. His intention makes it very implausible that any coincidences between two images are accidental (say, because it is such a popular spot). Instead, there is a strong argument that the work was created to resemble the image he used earlier, that is, to copy it.

2 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Jan 27, 2012)

It does not matter if certain "similarities" are intentional or not, since there's absolutely nothing wrong with creating "similar" images. That he may, in fact, have copied some other image in the past is entirely irrelevant. He obviously did not copy this image. He created an original work, which he has as much right to use as the other photographer did with his own work.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

But he didn't copy it. That is the point. What you're saying is effectively like saying that because someone j-walked in the past, all future efforts to stay within the parameters of the law, (crossing at the crosswalk, etc.), make them always guilty of it anyway, regardless of the fact that they made special efforts to be lawful in the future.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Michael J Davis
By Michael J Davis (Jan 26, 2012)

It seems to me that there are two principles involved:-

1. The infringement occurs because the photographer *set out* to produce a similar image, i.e. effectively to copy the first. In that the judgement is fair.

2. The judge referred to the similarities quoting Schindler's List as a prior example of spot colour. Now copyright is NOT Patent Law, but in the latter, it is possible to quote 'prior art' as an example to object to a patent. Well, many of us were doing 'spot colour' before Schindler's List; and I would have thought that was a contra-argument against the infringement in this case.

I have to say that I'm in agreement with Jane Lambert in her analysis. And we need to be. Ideas are great and I'm happy to credit those who inspire me for their prior art; but I'm still wanting to follow them until I can produce my own original stuff!

Will there be an appeal, I wonder?

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

The question is if I mimic a famous photo, but add my own twist, will that be considered a copyright violation or a new "expression" of the same idea?

In the past, as long as I don't use the original photo, it should be fine. That will be considered a different expression of a similar idea.

But in this case, the judge said another way. The judge pointed out a few things that are similar between the two photos, but there are more things that are different. Where to draw the "line"?

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

Spot color was just one of many similarities, it was not the sole point of infringement.

Also it was not an idea that constituted infringement. When a photographer takes someone else's idea, it is still possible to instill some of his/her own thought and inspiration, and create an original image. Lifting every single creative element is not "using and idea," it's copying.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

But what do you mean "every single creative elment"? The two pictures are so different, the judge only pointed out a handful of similarilies, but many have argued event those points are only "similar" at best, and some of the points are just common practice (not orignated from the first photographer).

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

The line is definitely fuzzy in general, but in this case it is clear that the slightly different point of view is an incremental improvement, and not an original creative element.

What is impossible to deny, is that Houghton tried to COPY the image as much as possible without infringing. The judge pointed out, that it was possible to have selective coloring and not infringe. It's possible to have the main objects and not infringe. It is *not* possible to have ALL elements together with the intent to COPY, and not infringe. Isn't it what copyright is about, preventing others from copying one's original solutions?

0 upvotes
RickBuddy
By RickBuddy (Jan 26, 2012)

I'd agree with Vlad here.

First and foremost I see an attempt by the mimic to profit from the other individual's commercial interests in the photograph.

There is an an idea that is most assuredly copied, plus evidence of a past conflict between the two parties regarding a previous infringement . In short, the mimic stole a successful concept; I see it, and if you don't, then there is something lacking in your understanding of creative work for profit.

Coming from my background in the advertising profession, the second photo is most certainly a hack of the original — and a very bad hack at that. A bad hack can be very damaging to the original artist.

As for people attempting to replicate other's work in an effort to improve skills? One, I don't think you're improving your skills plagiarising others' work as you are only learning how to steal and limiting your ability to create. Two, should you attempt to seek financial gain, then you are truly a thief and should be punished.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

But that is too subjective. Why the "different point of view" is considered only "incremental", not "significantly different"?

The judge on the one hand oversimplied the process of taking a picture (considers very different compositions as similar) and on the other hand had the wrong impression that the picture is very difficult to make (claiming the two photos have very similiar expression).

What is the difference between "intent to copy" and "intent to not copy but have a similar/better shot"?

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

"But what do you mean "every single creative elment"?"

1. The bus in front of the Big Ben with the Parliament in the background.
2. The relative scale of the different objects
3. The direction in which the bus is traveling
4. The selective coloring
5. The sky that was digitally removed
6. They are all together, in one image.

"but many have argued event those points are only "similar" at best, and some of the points are just common practice (not orignated from the first photographer)."

For one, the fact that it's a point of argument, rather than consensus, indicates that a significant amount of similarity remains.

Another point is that Houghton did try to avoid infringement, so of course he introduced these differences. At the same time it is clear that these differences stem not from an original vision, but from desire to obfuscate the copyright violation. Ok, the bus is shown better, but it's hardly something that would make this image as a whole an original to Houghton.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

But if you stand at that spot and snap a picture, you will definitely get 2, 3, 6 if you wait for 1 to happen. That's why I say the judge does not understand photography.

Should 1 and 4, 5 be copyrighted? 4 is not photographyer 1's creation. You can only argue 1 and 5, but can you copyright putting a famous bus in your picture?

For 5, that is probably the only thing that is created by the first photographer, but is this "single creative elment" "every creative element"?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

You can't copyright any one element in a creative work. You only copyright the work as a whole. You can trademark an element, like Micky Mouse is trademarked.

I think this is one of the misunderstandings here - some look at the bus, others look at the color, still others look at the perspective, but always individually. What is copyrighted is when all of these things, 1 through 6, when they occur together in one image. Even then, the judge further qualified that it was proven Houghton wanted an essentially similar image. It does not say anything at all about what would happen if Houghton could prove he was not aware of Fielder's image.

Furthermore (and I don't know how many times I have to repeat this) the judge explicitly said that Houghton could have asked an independednt photographer to take a shot with the bus, the parliament and the Big Ben, and be fine, because then the image would be that photographer's creation, and not Houghton's copy of Fielder's image.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jan 26, 2012)

"5. The sky that was digitally removed"

What if I just blew the highlights on a bright day? Do I have to add the sky back in from another picture?

0 upvotes
Leok
By Leok (Jan 30, 2012)

I hope the judgment is reversed on appeal.

The red bus and building have been shot millions of times by tourists in the same shot.

Selective desaturating is an overused cliche. Neither image shows any outstanding artistry. Both are guilty of unoriginality, nothing else. I don't see anything worthy of copyright.

In addition the images are shot from substantially different viewpoints.

The case should have been laughed out of court.... otherwise any tourist with a camera is potentially liable for breach of copyright!

0 upvotes
Beestripe
By Beestripe (Jan 26, 2012)

I bet there's 10's of thousands of colour bled london buses that were done well before Nick Houghton's far from unique, photoshop 101 crud.
Someone please sue the f**ker

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

I saw this from:

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Photographers_face_copyright_threat_after_shock_ruling_update_26_Jan_includes_pic_news_311191.html

"However, in a further possible twist, Nicholas Houghton, the owner of New English Teas which is based in Coventry, told AP on 25 January that the legal process was ongoing. 'We can't comment I'm afraid,' he said.
In a follow-up phone call, the firm declined to say whether it plans to appeal the decision and refused to discuss the matter further."

I hope Houghton will appeal and wish him best luck.

In the same article,
"Swan warned: 'The Temple Island case is likely to herald more claims of this kind. The judgement should be studied by anyone imitating an existing photograph or commissioning a photograph based on a similar photograph.
'“Inspiration' and “reference” are fine in themselves, but there is a line between copying ideas and copying the original expression of ideas which is often a difficult one to draw.'
"

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 26, 2012)

Next thing, one will be able to patent a view, and possibly live happily ever after by suing anyone else in posession of eyes. After Christ, the lawyers are apparently the only kind that can create something from nothing. Nice work. :P

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

Don't exaggerate. The judge said that Houghton could've asked an independent photographer to take a photo that would include a bus, the parliament, and the Big Ben, and it would not infringe. Where does it say that it can't be the same view?

Fielder's image had several deliberate creative decisions and alterations. Houghton copied all of those decisions and alterations, not just one, or not just a general idea. Every element present in his image is there because he saw it in Fielder's photo.

This is not just an idea, it's the whole enchilada - the view, the intent, and the way to achieve that intent. Houghton did not dispute that he wanted to REPRODUCE the image, but avoid infringement, therefore making some changes. The judge said it's not possible, the image did not originate from Houghton, but from Fielder.

BTW, I am still looking to see anyone post an image as described in the lawsuit that was dated before Feb. 2006.

0 upvotes
DrTT
By DrTT (Jan 26, 2012)

Vlad, the problem is that the 'whole enchilada' has already been done; entirely or in pieces.

Search Flickr for example: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=big+ben%2C+bus+%2C+parliament&s=rec
There is even a picture from 1962...

Flickr or not, it is obvious that:
Bus + Parliament = Done
Fake colors = Done (London or elsewhere)

0 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 26, 2012)

General advice to potential commentators (especially the ones coming from Slashdot):

Before posting nonsense, click the link and read the actual judgement.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Jan 26, 2012)

I have read the judgement. But there is an old saying that goes: "You can't copyright an idea. Only the execution of that idea." The judge has stepped onto a very slippery slope.

It can as easily be argued that a photo montage is so materially different from a photograph that the execution is very different. And that is irrespective of the intent to copy.

2 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Jan 26, 2012)

People take ideas from each other everyday and interpret them in their own style. We should all go down to the same spot and take pictures of red buses with Nikon D5100 which have inbuilt colour selection with B/W backgrounds. How can this be an infringement of an idea, it has been around long before Justin Fielder decided to do it. As he mentions he took the idea from Schindler's list.

It is such nonsense.

2 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

Yes,

But you (and every tourist) taking a similar picture is not going to go and put that image on a consumer product in an attempt to generate sales of said consumer product (i.e. the Tea that the defendant produces).

The bottom line (as the Judge summed up) was... Was the defendant's photograph of his own "intellectual creation".

The answer to that is clearly not because the defendant took the original image from a stock library and admitted that he tried to create a similar image. So it's not like he could defend that it was of his own intellectual creation.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

...not going to go and put that image on a consumer product in an attempt to generate sales...

Like you already know, it is not about commercial exploitation. That might have been the spur to take legal action, but the legal action itself was about copyright. Selling, making money out of the image - all irrelevant to the legal case.

And the point is, it makes criminals of everybody whose artistry pays homage to another - it is little comfort to those who believe in the law to be told, sure you're a criminal, but no matter because nobody will bother to prosecute you because there is no money involved.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

>And the point is, it makes criminals of everybody whose artistry pays homage to another - it is little comfort to those who believe in the law to be told, sure you're a criminal, but no matter because nobody will bother to prosecute you because there is no money involved

Hardly makes people criminals. In fact, even the defendant isn't being treated a as a criminal. He's just been told to remove the image from his tins of Tea - which is fair enough really.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

yes, makes a criminal of us. If that is how the law is interpeted, and we continue in violation of it, then we have become criminals becasue we are breaking the law.
Or "law-breakers", if that makes you happier, somehow?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

@wetsleet. Copywrite infringment is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Although wilful and persistent acts of infringement can be prosecuted in a criminal court.

So infringing on copywrite doesn't make you a criminal (necessarily), which is why it is so tied up with the commercial aspects of each case.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

Which, criminal or civil, is not the salient issue. But since you argue that it is one and not the other at least shows that you have accepted what is the salient issue, that this ruling leaves the inspired photographer on the wrong side of the law, be that civil or criminal.

1 upvote
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

The point being that just because you break the law doesn't make you a criminal - much like just because you were caught speeding doesn't make you a criminal. But you still break the law if you're speeding.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Jan 27, 2012)

"So it's not like he could defend that it was of his own intellectual creation."

So, let's say I have a wonderful idea for a photograph and share that idea here on dpreview. You happen to read my idea, and are inspired to create a photo. Is the photograph you created now my "intellectual creation"? No. It is not.

An artist's only creation is what they actually create. Not what they imagine they create, or consider possibly creating, or created something similar to at one time. We don't have thoughtcrime, and there's no such thing as an "intellectual creation."

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

Karl, who cares. Stick to the salient points. It seems that if someone tries to avoid breaking the law, the very fact that he made a special effort to avoid it makes him guilty of it. Civil or criminal, it's absurd. Are you the judge in this case? People shouldn't be able to not only copyright an image, but to also copyright the fact that they took it and the idea of it. That's stupid and unreasonable.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
John Crawley
By John Crawley (Jan 26, 2012)

Wouldn't they both violate Spielberg's Schindler's List?

0 upvotes
JohnLindroth
By JohnLindroth (Jan 26, 2012)

So anyone who stands in a similar place and takes a photo, perhaps inspired by another photographer's work, is now potentially guilty of infringement? I expected the 2 images to be almost identical - these are just 2 similar images using an overdone selective coloring technique, choosing the same item to leave in color...

3 upvotes
Zyolo
By Zyolo (Jan 26, 2012)

Dissapoiinted by Justin Fielder's action in the first place. Maybe if the Judge was a photographer his judgement might have been different. I wonder if Mr.Justin Fielder trully belives that what he did was a first. Maybe we'll se him before the law courts? Very very sad.

0 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

Justin Fielder took this action because the defendant had previously tried to use Justin's image commercially without consent and/or paying royalties.

Subsequently the defendant took a similar picture in order to avoid having to pay for the commercial rights to the photograph.

Copywrite law protects the artistic expression of an idea so why wouldn't you take someone to court who is trying to gain commercially off you in that way?

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

@Karl - commercial reasons might be why he took the legal action, but it is not relevant to the actual point of law, which is about copyright.

0 upvotes
Glennigogs
By Glennigogs (Jan 29, 2012)

When you go into souvenir shops in london, greece and paris etc, and find those "oil paintings" that they sell - all the same picture, done in the same style, but by different artists - do they fall foul of copyright? I do know that these artista go on a course to learn to paint in this way, but then basic photo classes are similar and folk come out with a similar grounding to each other after those.?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jebradl
By jebradl (Jan 26, 2012)

I think that they both copied the artistic expression of the girl in the red dress in Schindler's List.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Jan 26, 2012)

It was not original when Spielberg did it.

1 upvote
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (Jan 26, 2012)

Both photos are boring and infringements, since the theme has been done to death (colourful street icon on a BW city scape background). Even this shot, we have a two year old Ikea picture of a London bus (red) on a BW background.

If judges are going to pass these kinds of judgments, we may as well quit with photography as an art (all portrait poses and processing has been done already).

2 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

Art imitates.
So we are all guilty.

2 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

I think a lot of you have missed the point (which to be fair hasn't been accurately put across in the article either).

The defendant had previously tried to use the original photograph in a commercial setting. But the claimant said "hang on, that's my photo, if you want to use it commercially then pay up". And they went to court over this.

Later on, the defendant decided that if he couldn't use the original photo, he'd take one that was similar so that he could avoid having to pay royalties.

The problem is that he used the original image as the idea with which to compose his photograph. And he did so expressly for commercial gain (and the claimants ultimate commercial loss). The fact that there are many other such-like images was irrelevant in this case because the defendant admitted in court that he used the claimants image as his inspiration.

So the issue here is that he copied someone elses idea (he addmitted as much) specifically for commercial gain.

6 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

I understand the argument. He drew inspiration directly from an existing photo, and decided to create his own photo to communicate the same impression. But that is what we all do - we look at photographers we admire and try to learn from what they have done, so to improve our own photos. This is bread and butter stuff to photo magazines featuring illustrated 'how to' tutorials every month.
Or maybe I see a nice head-and-shoulders portrait technique on display in a studio photographer's window, and try to create the same look at home, because I don't want to pay studio prices. Guilty?

3 upvotes
swhs
By swhs (Jan 26, 2012)

> I think a lot of you have missed the point (which to be fair hasn't been accurately put across in the article either).

I certainly didn't and many others didn't either. It's all been explained and your post restates again a untenable viewpoint that an idea is copyrightable.

> The problem is that he used the original image as the idea with which to compose his photograph. And he did so expressly for commercial gain (and the claimants ultimate commercial loss).

[ snip ]

> the defendant admitted in court that he used the claimants image as his inspiration.

> So the issue here is that he copied someone elses idea (he addmitted as much) specifically for commercial gain.

This doesn't matter. Just like reverse engineering is allowed, this is too. Ideas are not copyrighteable. The second photo is not a work based on the first, but a similar one.

The only way this case should have been handled is as a trademark issue because both pictures were used to sell stuff.

4 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

wetsleet:

> I see a nice head-and-shoulders portrait ... on display in a studio photographer's window, and try to create the same look at home, because I don't want to pay studio prices. Guilty?

Not guilty, but if you used your image commercially then you may have a problem IF it is felt you copied the artistc expression of original.

>Ideas are not copyrighteable.

It's not as simple as that. You cannot copywrite an idea but copywrite does protect the creative or artistic expression of an idea. And essentially, based on the composition, subject, lighting, etc... the judge felt that the second image infringed upon the artistic expression of the first photo.

>The only way this case should have been handled is as a trademark issue because both pictures were used to sell stuff.

You may be quite right - I don't know enough about the law to say otherwise but in this case I'll defer to the judge, whom I'm sure knows more. Then again, maybe not :).

0 upvotes
Nigel Pond
By Nigel Pond (Jan 26, 2012)

There is no copyright in ideas - sorry but the judge got this one completely wrong.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

> I see a nice head-and-shoulders portrait .... Guilty?

Not guilty, but if you used your image commercially then you may have a problem IF it is felt you copied the artistc expression of original.
______________
Accepting that I have deliberately copied the look, why do I have to sell my photo to commit an offence? Copyright is not about commercial exploitation of a copied image. If I duplicate an original work of art (eg a music track, or a photo), even for my own use, I have infringed copyright. I don't have to be caught trying to sell the copy as well.
That is why this ruling is wrong - we all deliberately, with knowledge and intent, take inspiration from the works of others to inform our own creativity. But that is not duplication. It happens in music, in photography, in painting. What else is a 'school of art' if not a bunch of artists all producing similar-ish stuff, so similar in look and feel in fact that it all sits under the one name, like cubist, or impressionist - etc.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

>Accepting that I have deliberately copied the look, why do I have to sell my photo to commit an offence? Copyright is not about commercial exploitation of a copied image...

You are quite right in that it is not about commercial exploitation. And maybe in that case you are just as guilty.

But, why would the victim of copywrite theft make a claim against you when the relative commercial gain from taking you to court is inconsequential compared to taking someone to court who is profiting more?

0 upvotes
Karl K Grambow
By Karl K Grambow (Jan 26, 2012)

>There is no copyright in ideas - sorry but the judge got this one completely wrong.

You're right, there is no copywrite in ideas. But you can apply copywrite to the artistic expression of an idea. The law says so and all the judge was doing as applying the law as it's written.

You could aruge that the law as it's written is wrong but then that's another debate.

0 upvotes
Steven Noyes
By Steven Noyes (Jan 26, 2012)

I fully understand the issue but fundamentally disagree with the judgement. It is bad law.

The infringement and settlement should be on the first image (and it could be a big one) not the second.

0 upvotes
sanderdk
By sanderdk (Jan 26, 2012)

borderline dangerous this one.. i understand the point of the guy with the original photo, but if you start putting limits on "stealing ideas" you basically kill the possibility for competition.

what if i start a photostudio? the guy in town who already had one, can sue me for stealing his idea?

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Jan 26, 2012)

You have to steal more than just the implementation of a type of store - especially if that store has other similar stores already - such as your photostudio example.. Although, If you copied the logo and design - especially after you went to them and disagreed about licensing beforehand and then just copied it (while making a few changes of course) then I think your are forced to sue to protect your idea.

This is a touchy situation, but if you read the article through it seems apparent to me that they were bypassing licensing the original picture and just copying it - almost completely with the only difference being the perspective - that would p*ss me off if I was the owner/photographer.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

Gates famously said to Jobs, "Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

Isaacson, Walter (2011-10-24). Steve Jobs (p. 178). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Bill McKelvie
By Bill McKelvie (Jan 26, 2012)

I remember in the 80s photographic salons were inundated with images like this. Red London buses, pillar boxes, telephone kiosks, essentially anything red and typically London, done against a monochrome, and sometimes negative, well known London backgroundbackground. It got monotonous, and eventually died out because it was so clichéd. All done with the screaming reds of Cibachrome, and all relying on the lith film used for the masks being insensitive to red.
It's a bit like the famous or notorious Christine Keeler photo with her sitting nude astride a chair. A doting old judge gave a decision against another photographer who took a photo of a model in the same pose. This was overturned on appeal when another photo, taken many years before the famous one but virtually identical, was produced. I suspect that might happen here.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Barrie Davis
By Barrie Davis (Jan 26, 2012)

I hope you are right, and that the judge's error is corrected.

1 upvote
NikLG
By NikLG (Jan 26, 2012)

mono-tone-us ? eh ? :)

0 upvotes
tr6me
By tr6me (Jan 26, 2012)

The black/white with red subject and the base 'ingredients' are the same. Composition, lens used, perspective differ a lot from a photographers eye. I see no photographic copyright issue here. But: if Nick was aware the existing photo made by Justin he was playing copycat with the concept/idea. Looking mathematically 1+1=2 like the judge did you can say there is a copyright issue here based on concept and idea.
I think that is the wrong decision since photographically the photo's are VERY different.
This ruling is dangerous thin ice... Every one photographing the same real world objects or processing the photo's in about the same manner can go sue each other... The black/white photo with red,yellow or other colour theme is too basic and non creative to be really artistic. It is even a standard filter in consumer cameras.

0 upvotes
Basco
By Basco (Jan 26, 2012)

come on guys , am i reading well enough these days ? how the hell can i know if someone on this planet took a photo of that place or that thing or whatever it is, should i search the whole net to know if this photo has been taken by else, and if yes, should i stop taking it and do something else, and start to worry about law's and copyright things ... come on guys ... what world we're living for ... geees.

0 upvotes
Sante Patate
By Sante Patate (Jan 26, 2012)

There is nothing new in this ruling. In the UK this has been the copyright law for years. This is and has been for years the copyright law in the USA. Copyright protects "the distinctive and original elements of the work".
In this case it is important that the defendant admitted copying the ideas of the original: there was no claim of independent creation. If there is independent creation there is no breach of copyright. The defendant admitted copying the /ideas/ of the original, he just thought that the ideas weren't copyright. They are, were, and will be tomorrow.

The fact that other people have done similar things is irrelevant - there is no "prior art" defence to copyright infringement.

Of course, people with no ideas have a problem, but the fact that you can't steal ideas isn't this judge's fault. The fact is you can't see a photograph you like and go and take one that reproduces /the particular characteristics that make you like it/.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Jan 26, 2012)

The fact is you can't see a photograph you like and go and take one that reproduces /the particular characteristics that make you like it/.
------------
So you really are saying that if I look at a photo of, say, a classic sunset over the water scene, read about how the photographer achived that type of shot, then inspired directly by that I have a go myself and achieve a similar result, then I have committed an offence?

The above scenario is exactly what happens with most amateur photographer type magazines - they do a 'how to' feature on a given subject, populate it with stock photos, and encourage their readership to go forth and do their best. The magazine will have paid copyright fees to reproduce the stock shots - but the readership is then guilty of copyright infringement if they try to achive the same look and feel directly inspired by what they saw and read in the magazine?

6 upvotes
psn
By psn (Jan 26, 2012)

Everything is new in this ruling. You can copyright your expression of an idea but not the idea itself. In this case, the idea are the same but you can't tell me that the artists' expressions (the photographs) are the same.

1 upvote
hello world
By hello world (Jan 26, 2012)

Your photograph of that person looks nearly the same as my photograph from another person. They both contain a person and a black background. Lets go to court!

You made a photo of my garden, which I composed with these plants. You copied my garden.

COMMON PEOPLE GET A LIVE.

JUSTIN & NICK, That means you.

gees, what a world we live in today...

You cannot shoot a video without prior permission
Completely forget about taking pictures of children playing in a garden - you go to jail for that these days
And now, when you shoot a photograph you have to make sure NOBODY in the world had the same idea as you

Fun just died in this world.

3 upvotes
psn
By psn (Jan 26, 2012)

Wow. So am I to conclude that UK copyright laws are flawed? Or is it the judge? If common sense rules, the judge should be reprimanded or, better yet, fired. Sure, Fielder sued but that lawsuit should have been thrown out--it has no merit whatsoever.

1 upvote
draschan
By draschan (Jan 26, 2012)

I know quite a lot of work from back in the analogue days where people isolated a colourful object on a monochrome background. almost every photo student and amateur with a darkroom did this. almost any object got presented this way, it was ubiquitious during the 80ies from amateur to advertising photography. in the digital age it takes only seconds to do the same and any hobbyist can do it and get such a cheesy photo. the idea of the red bus is so easy to copy that it simply does not deserve any protection. it's way too easy.on the other hand: art lives from copying, a simple look at art history shows that people learn from imitation and only little steps were made from generation to generation. there is copycats, epigones and only a few inspired students, but all comes from imitating good work like the old masters did. this judgment is funda-mental-ly wrong and opposes the freedom of expression (no matter how cheesy and easy :-)

1 upvote
jtan163
By jtan163 (Jan 26, 2012)

Lucky it's a legal question - there's money to be made in the appeals yet. I'm sure the lawyers won;t let it rest until every red pence has been extracted from plaintiff and defendant.

But you do got to wonder, isn't it a bit disingenous of Fielder to sue. All it takes now is one person to come up with an image of similar composition that they can prove predates Fielders (and I'd strongly speculate such an image with the required providence exists) and Fielder will lose all of his settlement.

0 upvotes
Moto Guzzi
By Moto Guzzi (Jan 26, 2012)

Paintings, saw something similar.

Now that I think of it, I have seen paintings conforming to above, now this will be interesting.Painter-A draw paintings of people in a certain recognisible way, I bought it. The other day I walked in a mall and from far I immediately recognised similar work, although it seems a bit darker in general,...... my wrong........ different artist.(I was pretty convinced from away)
The similarity of the people in paintings can be compared to the bus.
In this case artist-A was operating years before artist-B came along.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Moto Guzzi
By Moto Guzzi (Jan 26, 2012)

If I am correct, I do understand the judges decission.A matter of Creation.
Party-A took the picture. Then party-A modify the picture with photoshop to get a certain look.Now this revised picture was used by party-A commercially.
Party-B took a similar picture, no problem, but now party-B goes out and modify his picture in a similar creative way as party-A with clearly identifyable areas of similarity, exactly on the same artistic level and use it commercially.
The above to me is like a patent, you only know your new patent is yours after you had confirmed it is not already registred by somebody else.Patents has far reaching effects, so it is controlled properly.This is not the same as 100 photographers took similar pictures of similar events etc.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 26, 2012)

But for patent, you have to register and pay for it to get it protected, right? You also have to establish that there is enough inovation (though it is rarely thoroughyly checked nowadays, but that is the idea).

It's more like a trademark issue here. For that, you also need to pay to get it protected?

But in this case, the judge said it is the "copyright" that is violated. That's why people are shocked.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Red111
By Red111 (Jan 26, 2012)

nuts

1 upvote
Ikari120378
By Ikari120378 (Jan 26, 2012)

Everyone is heading towards Apple-American Hypercapitalism way nowadays. Sue, sue, sue...

1 upvote
Koji Hashimoto
By Koji Hashimoto (Jan 26, 2012)

This case is so ridiculous, what the court wants to do?
As long as many famous land marks were taken, it must happen very often.

2 upvotes
SilverFilm
By SilverFilm (Jan 26, 2012)

I thought if you took pictures of landmarks in the UK you were detained and your images confiscated. Seriously,
this is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. A quick google images search found many similar images and I must say they look much better with some details in the sky. Kind of funny, one photographer suing another for taking a lame photo somewhat similar to his own lame photo.

2 upvotes
eNo
By eNo (Jan 26, 2012)

That's not the same shot, not by a long shot. What's next? Closeups of dogs infringe on closeups of cats?

2 upvotes
kg56
By kg56 (Jan 26, 2012)

Both have been done before so yes to both. I am sure dog and cat food companies have this one covered!

1 upvote
Sixpm
By Sixpm (Jan 26, 2012)

It saddens me when I see that we all have been brainwashed and indoctrinate to fight for survival or for money, which is just a tool for mass control. Isn't it time for people to wake up that our world is full of abundance and scarcity was created to manipulate the masses into believing that we have to fight in order to get fed?

Our world is free for all to share, to enjoy all of our creativity, copyright law and patent laws are just a few 'regulations' to make sure we are 'trapped' in our own selfish mindsets to maintain our selfish ways of life.

Wake up and to realise that we are all living on a prison planet, undermine and controlled from the moment we're born. No one owns another, so the idea of one has the 'right' over another is totally absurd. Peace out!

0 upvotes
Hedobum
By Hedobum (Jan 26, 2012)

This is ridiculous. How is Justin Fielder the owner of any copyright for this? It makes absolutely no sense.
This very image (bus juxtaposed against big ben in this style) has been done NUMEROUS times before. Long before this Justin Fielder made any claim to it.
May I draw your attention to these:
http://framingdoctor.com.au/images/Red%20Bus%20-%20Big%20Ben.jpg

http://ukbestguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Aged_Big_Ben_with_a_classic_London_bus_in_red.jpg

http://www.popartuk.com/g/l/lgpp31718+red-double-decker-bus-london-photography-poster.jpg

http://www.popartuk.com/g/l/lgph0356.jpg

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/36579025.jpg

http://images.marketplaceadvisor.channeladvisor.com/hi/63/63398/london-big-ben-bus-dp0339.jpg

http://www.popartuk.com/g/l/lgPH0408.jpg
And these are only a small few of the images readily available with a simple Google search. If anyone is guilty of copyright infringement, it should be Justin Fielder.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 26, 2012)

It would be most helpful if you provided the dates that show these images were produced before February of 2006.

0 upvotes
tebee
By tebee (Jan 26, 2012)

Well at least two of those photos date to pre-2006, in fact pre- 11/04 as the bus in the photos RML2554 JJD 554D was withdrawn from service then, though this is just the date they were taken not when they were first published.

1 upvote
Virus 2k4
By Virus 2k4 (Jan 26, 2012)

The Defendant can use this links and win the case right away...but comeon...have a life. You cant just go and sue similar photographs. Next day he will go and sue the neighbour for using the same colour on his house.

0 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (Jan 26, 2012)

The defendant actually used images to prove his point, but the judge used it against him. Because he knew of such images, he copied deliberately. Fielder claims not to have known any such images, so according to the judge his creation was original.

0 upvotes
tedtedted
By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

Vlad S, copyright of images deals with the duplication of said images. Not the duplication of the idea of taking pictures of buses. Are you and the judge that stupid? Way to get copyright wrong.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 738
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