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As Buzzfeed Calls Instagram Photo Fair Use SDNY Judge Recounts Her Jury Duty, Voir Dire

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial book - NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 27 – Buzzfeed in the summer of 2019 ran a piece about "influencer" Tiffany Mitchell and her motorcycle, and used a photo from Instagram to illustrate it.

   Then they got sued by the photographer, who copyrighted the photo on September 5, 2019 - notably through Richard Liebowitz regarding whom Inner City Press has previously reported

   On October 27, 2022, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Coleen McMahon on a day's delay held a telephone conference. Inner City Press covered it.

   Buzzfeed has filed a motion to dismiss, saying that the photo is not incidental but rather is the subject of the news story, and that their use was transformative and "fair use."

  Judge McMahon called the legal issue interesting, and said to expect a ruling on the motion to dismiss soon. 

 She had docketed that the conference "may be postponed if I am still on jury duty."

 During the conference she recounted that she had wanted to be put "in the box" for voir dire; the case she said was about a robbery of a convenience store with the issue being if the defendant had a sharp object and for what purpose.  

 Judge Tingling, she said, may have played a role in her not being questioned by the lawyers during voir dire (which she said was not proceeding as well as it could).

 This SDNY case is Whiddon v. Buzzfeed, Inc., 22-cv-4696 (McMahon)


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