More fallout from the (very viral) falling bear pic

I’ve been interested in both copyright and bears for a long time but this is the first (and probably only) occasion to hit both subjects at the same time.

In case anyone missed it, a University of Colorado student snapped this splendid pic of a tranquilized bear tumbling from a tree:

The bear was fine. But the photographer, Andy Duann, was not.

His student newspaper, you see, gave it to news outlets, including the Associated Press.

Duann, who himself sold the shot to other news outlets, says he never gave the student newspaper copyright to his work.

It turns out Duann was right. The Denver Westword Blog learned from a student paper representative that Duann had “slipped through the cracks” in the release process.

After noises about a lawsuit, it appears that everyone has now come to their senses and Duann is ready to let the paper use the photo in return for proper credit.

The episode raises the question of whether sites that use students or interns should amend their releases to ensure photographers can retain an interest if a shot goes viral.

The episode has also hit “know your meme” where the poor bear has been mashed up into a skateboarder, trampoline artist and foul-mouthed victim.