Newspaper conviction reporting - google copyright

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Newspaper conviction reporting - google copyright

Post by Zane85 »

A national paper published an article on my friend concerning a recent conviction. They are using an image of him, but it is one that I created, as such they do not own the copyright. I could simply ask them to remove the image. I’m hoping that there isn’t a public interest defence. Also, I’m also not sure how I can prove that I own this image. The better result is if we could hide the article from Google. I’m considering putting in a copyright infringement request to Google, to try and get the article delisted. Is this likely to work.
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Re: Newspaper conviction reporting - google copyright

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Zane,

I would not be surprised to find that the newspaper searched through your friend's social media and found the image that way. If this is so then you have every right not only to demand they remove the image from their website but also demand a usage fee. You would probably be talking about a fee of a couple of hundred pounds. Obviously you need some way of showing that you are the owner of copyright but if the image was on your or your mate's social media, then that should be relatively easy to do.

I suggest you phone through to the picture editor and discuss the issue. You can ask him how to invoice the company. Then follow up with a letter. If the picture desk try to fob you off (see below) as is highly likely, contact the paper's reader's editor or managing editor. You could also approach the organisation Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK) for advice and support. Ultimately you could try and bring a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) assuming the paper concerned is a member (the Guardian and Express newspapers aren't but most other national dailies are). Unfortunately the Editor's Code does not include a specific section on copyright so IPSO are likely to reject a claim, but at all stages you can resort to litigation. However once the paper sees that you know the law and aren't going to be fobbed off, they will probably settle quickly.

While there is theoretically a public interest defence* to copyright protection, this would not come remotely close to that. If you do get 'public interest' or that it is fair dealing used as an excuse, the part of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 you need to quote is section 30(2)
(2) Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.
As you can see photographs get special protection when it comes to news reporting.

You can certainly ask Google to delist the news item, but they are under no real obligation to do so since linking in the way that they do is not infringement. But since Google have a system set up to handle requests in accordance with the so-called right to be forgotten (it's not a right, it's just based on a judgment known as Google Spain which was not about copyright) it is worth a try.

*You can quote a number of cases where this defence by newspapers failed: Hyde Park Residence Ltd v Yelland, Ashdown v Telegraph Group Ltd, Beloff v Pressdram and so on. The best example of where a public interest defence was succesful is Lion Laboratories v Evans.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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Re: Newspaper conviction reporting - google copyright

Post by Fatty »

Andy Js advice is good, you can certainly put in a claim for damages.

Depending on the circumstances you might want to be more adventurous with your claim than 200 GBP. In this case ... l-and-won/ the claimant achieved £5,000. Don't be frightened of issuing a claim, the small claims track is designed for Litigants in Person and anyone can do it. There are numerous other accounts on the web.

You may find when contacting editors and other underlings that you are fobbed off. This is what the are employed to do. When you have had enough of that send a "Letter of Claim" to the companies registered office and then 2 weeks later you can simply file an N1 claim form https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.just ... n1-eng.pdf Fill it in, print 3 copies, send it to Chancery Chambers, The Rolls Building,
7 Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL and they will send you back 2 copies stamped with the High Court Seal. You then post this to the registered office of the company. They then have 14 days to file an acknowledgement or defence.

I guarantee nothing gets a newspapers attention quicker than a High Court seal.

You might want to quote Francoise-Marie Banier vs News Group Newspapers Ltd EWHC CH 1997 B No 400 and Francoise-Marie Banier vs Times Newspapers Ltd EWHC CH 1997 B No 535 , see

With regards to proving its your copyright, then if you published it with your name on or adjacent it then that's all the proof you need. See section 104 Copyright Designs & patents Act 1988. If that's not the case then be pragmatic, just gather all the evidence you can, eg similar photos taken at the same time, especially if they are not published, high res versions, raw files , witness statements etc. Just use common sense. Its not a murder case, you will only have to show its your image on the balance of probabilities and your opponents are unlikely to have any evidence against you.
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