Overreaching corporate claims are nothing new, certainly when it comes to copyright. Toyota vastly over-reached recently, requesting all images containing their products be removed from a wallpaper site, citing copyright issues. Finally, Toyota responds.
Civil litigation and especially copyright disputes, are often a David and Goliath battle. With lobbyists pressing hard to increase punitive damages well beyond any potential damage imaginable, or even a sane multiplier of that damage, being taken to court can be an expensive prospect.
That’s where many lawyers, such as Davenport Lyons can make a tidy profit. As has happened in some of the cases they are involved with, many will admit wrongdoing, and even pay ‘damages’ where no actions (wrong or otherwise) have occurred. It has led to a general feeling that a claim of copyright infringement by a large powerful company will get the actions they desire, irrespective of facts, through fear of litigation. This was the situation last week, when Toyota ordered wallpaper site Desktop Nexus to remove all images featuring Toyota vehicles, even those with copyright belonging to others.
However, sometimes a company can be pressured into accepting mistakes, and this is the case here. With a large amount of negative publicity (a selection of which can be found on DesktopNexus’ blog) Toyota today contacted TorrentFreak and DesktopNexus, expressing their apologies for the incident.
From: Scott DeYager
Date: Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:52 AM
Subject: Desktopnexus Toyota Wallpapers
The recent request Toyota made to have certain photos of Toyota vehicles removed from the public wallpaper site, DesktopNexus, was the result of an internal miscommunication.
To protect the legal rights and agreements we have with the photographers we hire, we ask that the photographs not be used for direct consumer advertising, sales brochures and the like.
If people wish to post their own photos of one of their own vehicles, that’s their right. In fact, we’re pleased that people would want to show their Toyota vehicles to the world. So have at it. Consider the wallpapers on DesktopNexus to be fair game for personal use.
Please let your readers know that we offer a sincere apology to the DesktopNexus site and its users for any inconvenience or disruption this miscommunication may have caused.
Thanks for your understanding,
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
DesktopNexus told TorrentFreak that they will be releasing a statement on this shortly.