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Italy Bans Photo-Crawling Service From Sending Aggressive ‘Legal’ Claims


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Photo 190358092 © Sergei Babenko | Dreamstime.com

In a hallmark move, Italy’s market regulator has prohibited a photo-tracking program and its lawyer from sending out “misleading” copyright takedown notices to small businesses and taking advantage of their unfamiliarity with intellectual property law.

PhotoClaim, a Warsaw-based reverse image search tool that scours the web to identify work by photographers who engage its services, has been fined €35,000 (US$34,000). Meanwhile, its German lawyer whose aggressively-worded letters were at the center of this decision will have to shell out €10,000 (US$9,700). Both the company and its litigious representative have been ordered to immediately withdraw their activities in Italy, as shared by journalist Giovanni Franchini.

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