Law News Digest – Week of May 24, 2015


Your Instagram photos may have just sold for $90kA NY artist took Instagram photos without getting the owners’ permission, enlarged them, and added weird comments. They went up in an art exhibit and sold for $90,000 each! Generally you own the copyright to every photo you take, so did the artist infringe on Instagram users’ copyrights? Maybe not. The law allows you to use someone else’s work if you make enough changes to it, such that it can be considered “transformative.” A law professor explains how this could apply here.

Policing the policeThe Cleveland Police Department today agreed to follow tough new standards for when police can use force, as demanded by the federal Department of Justice. Cleveland police will no longer be able to engage in pistol whipping or firing warning shots, and will be required to immediately provide first aid to suspects, among other new rules.

Death penalty not dead in Nebraska: Although the Nebraska legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in that state, the governor vetoed it today, as expected. But the legislature could override the governor’s veto if at least 30 legislators (out of 49 total) vote to do so, and it looks like they may just have enough votes…so stay tuned. The death penalty is already abolished in 18 states.

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