Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #1 · PhotoCrazy Patent Claim |
This topic has been discussed on FM in the past, but not since the most recent legal events.
For those of you not familiar with this case, Peter Wolf (owner of PhotoCrazy) was granted a patent that basically says he owns the process for posting event photos on a web site. An abstract of this patent is found here: http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT6985875
The last time this was discussed on FM, Wolf had filed suit against a number of prominent web providers claiming patent infringement and trying to force them to either stop allowing posting of events photos, or pay PhotoCrazy a licensing fee. These companies include: Brightroom, Elizabether Kreutz, Bird's Eye View, Digilabs, Printroom, SmugMug, and Hour Photos (dba Master Photos USA).
The general assumption was, even among some very good patent attorneys, that once it went to court, the case would be dismissed and the patent found to be invalid. However, not a single case went to court. Every single defendant folded and cut a deal with Wolf. Therefore, the patent still has legal enforcabiltity. Furthermore, the deal that those companies cut only applies to postings of less than 500 images. If you post more than 500 on one of those sites, you are supposed to contact Wolf to buy a license to do to. If you are posting event images on your own site, you supposedly would have to pay a license fee regardless of how many you post. Here is the statement from the SmugMug site...
Notice for Professional Account holders:
Uploading more than 500 photographs of participants in a single
sporting event may require a License from PhotoCrazy, Inc.
To avoid patent infringement, please contact:
Attn: Peter Wolf
509 Raindance Street
Thousand Oaks, California 91360-1219