When you want to attack a photographer or videographer over their works, you better know what you are doing. They know every inch of the images they capture, they know how it was shot, where it was shot, what equipment it was shot on, and they can detail every bit of post-processing. This has been true since the invention of film, and it still rings true today in the age of digital photography.
Sharing these images when it comes to social media means that you can only hope people will share it unedited and give you credit for your work in the hopes someone else sees it and hires you for prints or to commission some work. You must expect it to be shared, so when Melissa Lewis and Grace Morgan decided to sue Andy Ngo over ‘copyright infringement,’ it was going to be a big deal. They were claiming his sharing of their videos while giving credit to them was infringing on their copyright.
Let that sink in. In their eyes, this man had ‘stolen’ their work by using a Twitter function to embed another user’s video inside a tweet. When Ngo did this, the original video was shown (so no degradation of quality occurred), the name of the person who posted the video is shown (they, in turn, may or may not be the person who shot the footage), and it provides a link back to the Twitter account.
This is precisely what ‘free use’ is about. Like when the teacher decided to show a film inside science class so you could learn a lesson, it does not violate copyright for educational or news purposes to share videos or photos. As he is also giving credit back to them, this further provides rewards for their efforts. Even though it wasn’t good enough for them.
When their lawyer took this case on, they must not have realized just how horrifically unintelligent they would end up sounding. “Defendant has repeatedly taken the videos posted by Plaintiffs and reposted them on the internet without Plaintiff’s permission or consent in violation of their exclusive copyrights…Defendant has made a practice of illegally copying and uploading Plaintiffs’ videos onto his own Twitter account (“@MrAndyNgo”)…When he uploads Plaintiffs’ videos to his own Twitter account, Defendant includes a credit for Plaintiffs…On October 2, 2021, Defendant illegally copied and posted the Morgan Video on his own Twitter feed.”
These statements aren’t just ignorant, they also go to show just how weak their argument (and their skin) is. Any journalist must have thick skin if he or she is to stick to their guns. The fact of the matter is, Ngo has a Twitter following that finds the actions of Antifa laughable. They mock them and laugh at what they are doing because their actions are indeed humorous in many instances.
The “attacks” these two would receive from Ngo sharing their videos were paused because they had blocked him. He had a simple workaround; log out and copy the URL from an unlogged-in account, then, share the URL in his own tweet. It’s an easy way to still re-tweet information, even if the people you are sharing it from don’t want it shared.
The plaintiffs, in turn, found their own lawyers dropped the case after meeting with Ngo’s lawyer. This was a frivolous lawsuit, to begin with, and nobody should have to deal with this kind of harassment. These ladies are not ‘journalists’ despite what they like to claim. They are members of Antifa who look to get their cause out there for the masses to see by videoing their activities and showing them off to other people. They, then, looked to make a bigger name for themselves with this trash lawsuit. Anything for the clicks, though, right ladies?