News Organizations Can’t Use Twitter Photos Without Permission


This photo was released under a Creative Commons License – By Andy Arthur via Flickr

In a ruling that could have wide impact on social media photography, District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York ruled that two news organizations violated the rights of photographer Daniel Morel when they used photos he posted on Twitter without permission.

While the ruling upheld the rights of the photographer, the ruling simultaneously limited the damages Morel could collect.

The case between Morel, Agence France-Presse and the Washington Post has been watched with interest as it is the first that explores the commercial use of images made available through social media. It was the AFP that sued Morel to get a ruling on the legality of using such material after Morel accused them of copyright infringement. The AFP claimed Twitter’s terms of service gave them the right to use the images. The judge disagreed and granted Morel’s request for summary judgement.

More interesting still is the fact that Twitter was not a litigant in the case, a spokesman for the company claiming that Twitter users own their own photos.

The judge did say that rebroadcasting the images by retweeting those posted by users was fair game and allowed under Twitter’s terms of service.

The AFP, Washington Post and Getty Images all declined comment.

The ruling comes in the wake of the disastrous attempt by Instagram to modify their terms of services to allow a similar behavior. Although Instagram hastily retreated from their position after a massive user backlash, the number of daily users of Instagram has dropped nearly in half over the last month.

Get Started With Twitter in 6 Easy Steps

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

So you’ve decided to sign up for a Twitter account (maybe you decided to build your presence online). Congratulations! You’ve just bought in to the world’s greatest time-sink information network. But now what?

The hardest part of Twitter, the reason most people never go back after initially creating their account, is that it’s really hard to figure out how to use. There’s a ton of people, a lot of applications, lots of sandwiches being eaten, and so on and so forth. It’s all overwhelming!

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How to Create Your Presence Online

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I’ve spent the last few months of my life obsessively printing resumes, checking Craigslist, looking for openings, meeting people, and doing anything I possibly could to find a job. It was a long process, but was remarkably successful for me: I’ve got some great things coming when I graduate (which is, like, really soon), at a time when a lot of employees and employers alike are struggling.

I don’t tell you this to toot my own horn, but as a way of telling you why I got the chances and the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m absolutely, 100% convinced that it boiled down to one thing: I had a strong, active presence online that I was proud of, and that I could point employers to, and that acted as a resume for me in everything I did.

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Brizzly: A Facebook and Twitter Machine

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Being the super-cool guy that I am, I periodically get to try Web applications before the general public. And being the super-impatient guy that I am, I hate waiting when I don’t get to try them. But one app, which everyone’s been talking about recently, eluded my grasp until just a few days ago.

Brizzly’s a new Twitter and Facebook app, designed to help you manage your social networks from the Web in a way that just makes more sense. It’s only been released to the public a few days ago, and I’ve been playing with it non-stop since then. In only a couple of days, it’s become my default application for both social networks, actually taking Twitter and Facebook and doing both better than they do.

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Follow Tons of People on Twitter – and Pull It Off

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

2223151651_5f234a6138 Twitter’s one of the most useful tools I’ve ever come across – it’s facilitating instant conversation, making it easier than ever to connect with people, get questions answered, and find out what’s truly going on in the world, right now.

But it’s a pain in the you-know-what to manage. Particularly as you start to use it more, you want to follow more people, you’re being followed more, and you run into a common dilemma: how do I follow lots of people, engage as many as possible, and make sure not to miss anything I really care about?

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The Definitive Guide to iPhone Twitter Apps

This is a post from a brand-new contributor to The 2.0 Life – Srikanth. Srikanth writes on the great Tech Inspiration blog about tips, gadgets, and technology. Check out his blog or Linkedin profile for even more.

2486803597_a5858ef2cbTwitter, the already hugely popular, massively-growing social networking site, is officially too big to ignore. The simple interface and ability to update quickly make it one of a kind social network – not to mention ripe for mobile applications.

There are countless clients available that allow the user to update his status on twitter easily, as well as much, much more. These apps are available for every platform, but the iPhone is far and away the most popular right now.

The iPhone, by allowing the user to load many different applications, and with superior connectivity options, is really  ideal for Internet usage. If you are a Twitter fan–and love your iPhone–then here is the list for you!

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Keep Your Social Media Life Organized with Skimmer

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.


I was thinking about it today, and realized that I’m active on a ridiculous number of social media networks. I’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Friendfeed, YouTube, and more – I’d get exhausted if I went through them all.

Though each application is improving, and has its own lures and reasons to use, keeping track of them all is hard. It’s a lot of different places to check, a lot of information to consume, and a lot of work to stay active on all the various sites.

After a few hours of using Skimmer, though, my social media life appears to have just become much less complicated.

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Dunkin' Donuts: A Prototype for Branding and the Social Web

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

twitter Major companies and corporations, it appears, are finally understanding how significant this whole "Internet" thing must just actually be. For a series of tubes, it’s become a pretty big deal.

The potential benefits of this are fantastic, both for companies and consumers. For us, the consumers, it means we get more personal, transparent, and efficient interaction with the huge companies that used to just ignore us and put us on hold for 37 minutes, playing the same Sting song over and over. And over. Thanks to the Web, things might just be looking up – though Sting’s royalties’ll go down the tube.

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3 Ways to Stay on Top of Twitter (That Aren't

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

befceba17aec2b1b68f9395175420a9dThere’s a project I’m working on for my day job that involves Twitter. Heavily. It’s led to my spending a lot of time within Twitter archives, and particularly within Twitter’s search engine.

Twitter’s search is awful. That is, it’s awful when it even works properly. Which isn’t always. Results are frequently not all shown, the search is slow, and the process is just generally unreliable.

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Why You Shouldn't Answer Twitter's Question

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.


When you login to Twitter, at the top of the page you see the box that you’re supposed to tweet from. The box asks you a simple question: “What are you doing?”

Please, for the love of everything holy, don’t answer that question.

Making that the default question, the prompt to which you’re supposed to respond in your tweets, was a poor choice on Twitter’s part. It’s also a huge part of the reason Twitter’s benefit is so hard to comprehend for a lot of people.

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