Copyright lawsuit over Trump photo use is a press freedom fight, too

Parker Higgins
Jan 25 · 5 min read
Trump crashes a wedding at his Bedminster Golf Club. Photo modified by the author and used without permission under 17 USC § 107.
  • Esquire included the entire photograph, instead of cropping or editing it. But presenting the audience with the primary source materials is a valuable and important practice, and shouldn’t be discouraged by the law.
  • There is a potential market for such a work because an outlet like TMZ is willing to pay a licensing fee. But the fact that there are willing licensees doesn’t and shouldn’t change the newsworthiness analysis. A single outlet can’t be allowed to render other uses unfair simply by “establishing a market” — especially considering this subject already allegedly worked with a gossip publication to keep other outlets from doing fair reporting.

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Defending journalists and whistleblowers in the 21st century.

Parker Higgins

Written by

Director of Special Projects at the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Focused on technology, transparency, freedom of speech, and creativity.

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Defending journalists and whistleblowers in the 21st century.