Images Stolen, Then Photographer Sued

By Beacon Staff

Here’s an interesting dilemma with a detailed timeline as reported on The Russian Photos Blog.

The story goes like this:

On Jan. 12, photojournalist Daniel Morel found himself in the middle of the earthquake which rocked Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Morel made pictures and, realizing he had powerful and exclusive content, he opened a Twitter account, tweeted he had earthquake pictures and uploaded 13 images to TwitPic, a separate service from Twitter.

Then comes along Lisandro Suaero, who steals the 13 images and uploads them to his own TwitPic account. He too tweets he has earthquake images. Enter the Afence France Presse (AFP) who copies the images from Suero’s account and licenses them out to the world.

And who gets sued? Morel.

The classy AFP responds to Morel’s cease-and-desist letter not by apologizing, but by filing a lawsuit for “making false and disparaging statements.”

Morel hits back with a 66-page counterclaim which not only trumps the AFP suit by 58 pages but is highly researched and includes back-and-fourth tweets which seem to show that AFP knowingly stole the images.

Check out the full story on with a detailed timeline and description of court documents here: The Russian Photos Blog “We Stole Your Pictures, Now We’re Going To Sue You.”