Copyright Infringement Embedding Lawsuit Against Meta Fails


One legal gray area that has become increasing fleshed out over the past several years is how and when embedding an image infringes upon the creator’s copyright.

photos on white wooden table
Scrapbook of photos on white wooden table. Photo by Rirri

A recent lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for just this type of thing, was unsuccessful in court because the photographer didn’t prove that the offending websites saved a version of his copyrighted work on their servers.

Apparently, this is in line with other rulings in the US’s 9th circuit that use the so-called server test, Reuters reports. As the name implies, it all boils down to whether or not the party accused of copyright infringement stores a copy of it on a server.

Nonetheless, photographer Don Logan will get another chance in court; the judge ruled he could refile his case after amending it, something Logan’s lawyer promised to do.

Outside of copyright infringement, Logan also sought redress for what he argued was Meta’s misrepresentation of the ownership and provenance of the photos.

Of course, if anything comes of this case once it is put before the court again, we will be sure to report it to you.

Naturally, this isn’t the first lawsuit story we’ve covered, nor is it even the first one involving Meta. One of the more interesting headlines we recall is when Instagram was sued for its many music clips on the service.

And then there was Google’s facial recognition lawsuit.

In most of these stories, there is a common thread that involves technology and the law’s lag behind its advances. Embedding an image may seem harmless, but when you consider how it can be used it does dilute a creator’s fundamental rights. How the court shapes law around this issue will probably be a pretty big issue for photographers and other creatives for some time.

Any opinions on the ruling of the court are welcome in the comments.

You can read our other headlines in our photography news section.


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