You know those pictures that fell off of the set of J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek we told you about last week? Well, we’ve been asked to take them down by an outside firm representing Trek-studio Paramount.
Here’s the meat of the email I received-
The company hired by Paramount, BayTSP, Inc., claims to be acting as a representative for Paramount and claims that they feel photos included in the article were in violation of Paramount’s copyright. They asked that I remove the pictures and that I “refrain from using or sharing with others unauthorized Paramount Pictures Corporation’s materials in the future.” Since one of the questions raised in the original post was the question of the provenance of the photos and how exactly Paramount was claiming copyright on the material, it seems that without an answer to those questions, I am severely hindered from determining what Paramount may later claim to fall within their copyright.
Well, since they asked nicely, I did pull the pictures. However, I feel that the questions asked in the post are still valid, and here it looks as if there is someone who may be in a position to answer them. So I’ve sent them following email-
I am in receipt of your email from earlier today and have, in as much as in my power to do so, have removed the seven photos your client, Paramount Pictures, feels is in somehow violation of their copyright. I have also removed an eighth photograph not stipulated in your letter. Please note that I can not be held responsible for any search engine caching or other internet archiving of those images that may have been done to my site beyond my control.
I do have a few questions about Paramount’s actions in this matter that I hope you can answer.
The pictures that I posted were part of an article, which I have retained on the site, where I questioned the reach of copyright claims in the digital age. As such, I felt the inclusion of the photos was necessary as part of that discussion and fell under the aegis of “Fair Use,” using the definition that Fair use “of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting… is not an infringement of copyright.” (17 U.S.C. section 107). Has any consideration been given towards any posting of these pictures under this provision?
Also, in the post, I questioned the provenance of the pictures as pursuant to Paramount’s claims of copyright infringement. Was the photographer working as an employee of Paramount Pictures as an official photographer on the film’s production? If not, when does this subject of an image override the copyright interest of the generator of the image?
I would appreciate any help you could provide in clarifying issues for myself and my site’s readers in order to prevent any similar misunderstandings in the future.
Thank you for your time,
If I receive any response, I’ll pass it along.