Legal Updates

Without permission, one can not claim fair use when credit to the rights owner was never granted

August 26, 2021

A radio station used in its Twitter account a picture took by a photographer who transferred the copyrights there in to a company.

The Court granted the claim and held that the rights in the image belong to the company and the use made of the image constitutes an infringement of its copyright. While the initial copyright in the image belongs to the photographer, he may transfer the rights, by a written document, to any third party, including a company, which is entitled, once the rights have been transferred to it, to create derivative works. While a company, as it is not an individual, does not have a moral right to the image, once it is established that the company has a copyright, the use of the image or the derivative work requires consent or use within the framework of fair use. Here, the photographer transferred to the company the copyright in the original image, and the company added unique valuable elements to the image that help clarify the event depicted in the image, and have an element of creativity, making the new image a derivative work owned by the company. In addition, the radio station did not receive permission from the copyright owner, the company, to use the image, and as the use does not give credit to the rights owner, it can not be considered a fair use, and the company is entitled to compensation for copyright infringement.