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Copywrong: Media Companies & Indian Blogs; Google & Image-Search Previews

An interesting international story, that may be used as legal precedence on indexing of images: Google has lost two copyright cases in Germany, over the display of photos as thumbnails in image search results. In one of the cases, a Hamburg court has ruled in favour of a German photographer, saying that

“It doesn’t matter that thumbnails are much smaller than original pictures and are displayed in a lower resolution…By using photos in thumbnails, no new work is created.” [via Bloomberg]

Google has been facing issues over copyrighted content in India, and YouTube has been the prime target for content owners, in particular – T-Series. More on those issues here. Bear in mind that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is not applicable in India.


This development is also particularly interesting in the context of media companies in India taking content published on blogs. Mint did a fairly exhaustive story on media companies taking photographs off Flickr; Freelance writer Nita J. Kulkarni has published a list of instances of media companies taking content from bloggers, namely:

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Meeta K vs Times of India
Nita J. Kulkarni vs Hindustan Times
Priyanka vs Times of India
Archana vs Hindustan Times
Srinidhi Hande vs Times of India

More and more people are now writing about such instances, and photographers who publish their content online are now sharing notes, and holding focused discussions. Here’s the agenda for a Photo Theft Seminar; at Barcamp Delhi, over the weekend, Priyanka offered some suggestions for dealing with such situations:

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