Teddy Towncrier's Web Oasis.

April 22, 2009

A narrow escape from a copyright infringement allegation.

Filed under: Uncategorized — teddytowncrier @ 3:00 pm

A narrow escape from a copyright infringement allegation.

In business for over 30 years ….. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered anything like this.

Setting the scene.  Molly is a local business person who had extended some kindnesses to me.   I was seeking opportunities to reciprocate and had already done some promotional work for her.

The subject photographs referred to here were products of a photo-shoot by Polly for Molly at Molly’s business premises

There are 4 parties to this saga.

Molly the manufacturer.

Polly the photographer and friend of the manufacturer.

Lolly: Owner of one or more canine models and friend of the photographer.

Teddy Towncrier; At the dead center of this vortex.

When Molly sent me photographs of a couple of doggies enjoying Molly’s creations at her location;   Towncrier soon crafted an engaging, memorable video for Molly’s product with embedded links to external pages and although I hadn’t received an order, Molly was delighted.   We then consummated a deal.

The video was created with viral distribution in mind and realistically, could have enjoyed several million views and probable interest for wholesale orders from across the continent.

Soon after it was uploaded; I received the first of a series of angry eMails, from Polly the photographer demanding that I remove the video from public display citing the use of copyrighted materials without the owner’s permission.    Molly subsequently confirmed that she didn’t have releases for the photographs even though they were of her products taken on her premises.

It seems that Polly was initially delighted until Lolly the owner of one of the canine models had freaked about her darling poochie becoming a star and plastered over the Internet.

We removed the video to shield Molly from any unpleasantness

The losers from all this ……

Molly lost the promotion for her product.

Polly creates some breathtakingly beautiful images which I would have cheerfully included in promotions for Toronto (With full credit). . …. She lost this promotion and all future, mention of her work.   (Towncrier’s interactive videos embed hot-links to external showcases and sites outside the video).

I lost 5 hrs of production plus another 4 hrs assembling a defence file in case we were talking to a judge.

Lolly probably lost a few nights sleep because her darling had a starring role in an Internet movie, now playing in the land of those horrible Internet Stalkers.

I wasn’t aware that the doggie stars did not belong to Molly or would have certainly crossed the required “T”s.

The facts are true.  Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the paranoid and to keep legal ammunition to a minimum.

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We would be interested to hear hear what your position would be and how you would have handled this.


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