$3.6 Mio. Lawsuit against BuzzFeed due to Copyright Infringement


deutsch_s1

For some years now, the number of companies that filter, gather and publish external content under a common topic has been steadily increasing. BuzzFeed is one of the biggest so-called web-aggregators for viral content. Frequently this content, mostly funny pictures and videos, is made available on the website without reference to the originator (which should be the least one can do). Contacting the originator in order to ask for permission is pretty much never done. The exact thing happened recently, when BuzzFeed published the article „The 30 Funniest Header Faces”, including a picture of photographer Kai Eiselein.

soccerphoto

Image: Screenshot of the photo by Kai Eiselein

Much to his surprise, the Idaho photographer found the article along with his photo and prompted the company to delete it. But it was too late. Since web-aggregators are mutually interconnected and quickly repost content, his photo spread on 61 further pages and has being viewed by millions of viewers without his permission. As a result, Kai Eiselein sued BuzzFeed for damages in the amount of $3.6 Mio. Some of you might think that the requested sum is in no relation to the damage done, or that maybe that the photo wouldn’t even be worth $10. If the photo is worthless to BuzzFeed, however, why would it be ranked among the “30 funniest”? One needs to keep in mind that web-aggregators, as any commercial page on the web, generate revenue by means of adverts. Isn’t it pathetic to enrich oneself with someone else’s work and let the originator come away empty-handed? The way I see it, the requested sum is indeed set too high, but how else can you establish a precedent in order to discourage others from doing the same in the future?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: