|no shoes, no shirt;|
no fair use defense
The Court of Appeals Decision. On appeal, the Third Circuit reversed. More discovery was needed to decide the defamation claims (the tapes of the show had been destroyed). The Third Circuit also blew off any fair use defense. Posting the original photo and encouraging listener modifications was a purely commercial use and carried no additional transformative message. For those keeping score, all four fair use factors weighed against the station.
Removal of the credit. The most interesting claim was the argument that the DMCA prohibited the removal of copyright management information (CMI), which includes digital identifying information such as the name of the author. The Third Circuit ruled that the "gutter credit" qualified as CMI and cutting it off the photo violated the DMCA.
Takeaway Dept. In this case, someone physically cut off the photo credit, scanned the photo and posted the digital result, something not many people anticipated would trigger a DMCA claim. Does this mean that you must always include a photo credit when you reproduce a photo? Not necessarily; it just means you cannot remove an existing credit. This issue may become more confusing if the credit is not adjacent on the printed page, perhaps something that other cases will decide. For now, gutter credits qualify as CMI, at least in the Third Circuit.