It was recently revealed that Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor was one of the judges that ruled on the Chris Usher case where the court awarded him $7 per image for the over 12,000 images Corbis lost. The Lens Blog has interviews with Chris and the lawyers who argued the case.
“’Judge Sotomayor did not get that this is blatantly absurd: to treat one of the top photojournalists in the world as if he was a child who lost the snapshots he’d brought into CVS or Walgreens,’ Mr. Greenberg said in an interview on Tuesday.”
“Following up in an e-mail message, Mr. Greenberg said, ‘It was the impression of my entourage — consisting of clients, witnesses, staff and interested parties who attended the oral argument — that Sotomayor had no understanding of the historical context of the photo business.’ He continued: ‘She viewed — in my crew’s opinion — the case as the last in a line of cases concerning the loss of analog materials, an anachronism. While arguing, I personally could not read that, but others did.'”
UPDATE: Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua sees it differently (here).
“As I mentioned in my previous post, it sucks for the photographer. However, and note these two things: 1) the court found it impossible to value the images otherwise because of the lousy record keeping by the photographer IN THIS CASE; and, 2) the ruling clearly states that it is a summary order and is NOT precedential, so other cases do NOT have to follow the ruling and so not all images will be valued at this low level.”