Feeds

Gung-ho US lawyers attack German Web man over holiday picture

Family snap of the Grand Canyon sparks over zealous litigation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Heavy-handed lawyers in the UK and US have forced a leading German software developer to close his Web site over a copyright dispute despite admitting that some of the allegations were false. Lawyers acting for IPIX (Interactive Pictures Corporation) have until this afternoon to substantiate the charges and submit evidence of any wrongdoing. If not, Helmut Dersch who owns the site, will re-open the disputed home page -- after he shut it down voluntarily last week – before contacting lawyers to discuss what action he can take against IPIX. In a strongly worded statement issued yesterday, Dersch told the photographic software company that it had five days to examine his site for any alleged breaches of copyrights, patents, or other rights. "If I do not hear from you by [this afternoon], and receive no satisfactory explanations, I assume there are no rights of yours violated, and I will reopen my site again," he said. And in a bizarre twist, once IPIX realised that Dersch was an expert in the field of imaging and virtual reality it tried to make up for its mistake in the most spectacular example of back-tracking seen in a long time. In a letter from IPIX's US lawyers, the company said: "We do not see why you and IPIX could not share information, enabling you and your Web communicants to benefit from this burgeoning technology. "Indeed, one of IPIX's engineers is eager to meet face to face with you to discuss the potential for mutual benefits." But IPIX's attempt to kiss and make up has just angered Dersch still further and he is livid at way he's been treated. "You have hurt me and my family," he told IPIX's lawyers. “You have caused, as you phrased it, ‘unquantifiable damage’ - you know better than I that your previous actions constitute criminal offences, at least here in Germany. I will soon find out how laws in your countries regulate these matters etc." The dispute arose after IPIX claimed that it "owned" a photograph of the Grand Canyon and its format that appeared on Dersch's site. It subsequently retracted the allegation concerning the photograph -- apparently, it was taken by Dersch while on holiday and the picture even has his shadow in it -- but maintains that it was recreated on the site using IPIX copyright protected format, allegations stringently denied by Dersch. Janson Harrison of IPIX in the UK conveniently ducked the issue insisting that all enquiries were being handled by IPIX VP Ed Lewis, in the US. Mr Lewis was unavailable for comment. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.