The “Sports Illustrated” model accuses Twitter of contributing to piracy and suing Twitter for $ 10 million

Model Genevieve Morton in a yellow dress in front of a green wall

Genevieve Morton at the Vanity Fair Oscar event. Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

  • Genevieve Morton, a “Sports Illustrated” model, has sued Twitter for misusing photos.

  • Morton accused tech companies of contributing to piracy.

  • The proceeding was one of two cases filed by Morton against the tech giant.

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The “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model claimed that Twitter’s algorithm contributed to piracy by cropping her photos posted by other users. She said this created an unauthorized derivative work.

Earlier this month, Genevieve Morton sued Twitter in federal court, claiming that the company was late in removing her copyrighted material posted by unauthorized accounts.

Morton sought damages of at least $ 10 million. Morton told insiders that trying to control his image was “frustrating.”

Morton said: “Technology companies and social media platforms need to be on the side of artists and content creators, because that makes these sites interesting and valuable.

“It was enough when we learned that Twitter used a male engineer to impose its own bias to develop an artificial intelligence trimming tool,” she added.

Both Twitter and TweetDeck were listed as defendants in the proceedings filed on September 3. Also listed is Magic Pony Technology, a photographic algorithm company. Acquired by Twitter As a defendant in 2016.

Morton’s lawyer Jennifer Holiday refused to discuss the proceedings in detail, saying Twitter seems to be the first to be sued over the algorithm. A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment.

In her complaint, Morton on that Twitter account @genevievemorton Another unrelated account said it had more than 80,000 followers. @city_tits, Posted two photos protected by her copyright without permission.

In the proceedings, the owner of the handle was listed as a defendant, but was not identified by name. After that, my account was suspended because I violated Twitter rules.

Morton has submitted a request to delete both photos. According to the proceedings, one removal took about three months and another removal took about five weeks.

The @city_tits post was public, but received a total of 67 likes. Morton sought damages of at least $ 150,000 for each of these likes, for a total of more than $ 10 million, Filing said.

However, Morton’s proceedings said the actual damages could be higher. The lawsuit said the number of Twitter users who saw the photo in question during the live was unknown because Twitter does not show the number of times the post was viewed.

With more than 67 infringements, the total damages claim will probably be higher.

NBA Games Genevieve Morton, Catrinel Mengia, Kate Upton 3 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model (from left) Genevieve Morton, Catrinel Mengia, Kate Upton. Ray Stubble Vine / Reuters

Morton sued Twitter in a similar case last year, claiming that @SpyIRL posted some of her copyrighted material.

Twitter has petitioned to dismiss most of the allegations that the court has granted below. Section 230Eric Goldman, Vice Dean of Santa Clara University School of Law, said in a blog post. The case is ongoing.

In Morton’s new proceedings, she added charges against Twitter over the algorithm.

Her complaint was that the company “cropped Morton’s infringed image using a saliency algorithm to crop and modify the infringed image without Morton’s permission, and was not authorized to secondary. I created a special work. “

For Morton’s proceedings to be successful, Twitter “clearly encouraged incentives, which is something most social media platforms can’t do,” said Peter Lee, a professor at UC Davis Law School, in an email. ..

“But the twist here has to do with the allegation that Twitter’s algorithm intentionally modified Morton’s image,” said Lee. If we do this to avoid automatic searches and allow us to trigger breaches, Twitter may face liability for breaches. “

According to the company, between July and December 2020, Twitter received about 170,000 notices of removal of copyrighted material. Transparency center.

According to the company, about 60 percent of requests during that period removed material from the platform, an increase of about 5 percentage points over the last six months.

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