Woodstock News

Associated Press

AP Protests Use of Photos by Cops

By JOHN KEKIS Associated Press Writer

ROME, N.Y. (AP) - State police said today that they will continue to post several Associated Press photographs in their cyberspace investigation of crimes at Woodstock '99, despite demands from AP that the photos be removed.

Police posted 14 photographs on their Web site last week, including 10 used without permission that were shot by AP photographers. The AP protested Monday, as soon as it learned of the unauthorized use.

Lt. Jamie Mills said today that the photographs will remain on the Internet site. She also said police have received 40 e-mail messages in their probe, but wouldn't discuss what information was provided in the messages.

The photos show concertgoers breaking into pay phones, tearing down a 3-mile-long ``Peace Wall,'' looting a vendor's truck and robbing a cash machine. Police officials have asked the public for any additional photos and details of the identities of people shown.

Sam Boyle, chief of the AP's New York City bureau, discussed the site with various state police officials Monday, and denied them permission to use the photos.

``We have two concerns - violation of copyright and the journalistic separation from law enforcement,'' Boyle said

A letter faxed to state police Monday night from Robert Penchina, a lawyer representing the AP, stated: ``We demand that the state police immediately cease and desist from any and all acts infringing on AP's copyrights, including but not limited to removing all AP photos from the state police Web site.''

Police said the AP photos were posted their Web page on Friday. Glenn Valle, chief counsel for the state police, said his review indicated use of the photos was appropriate.

``We don't think that we're violating the copyright or infringing on the copyright in this manner,'' Valle said. ``It was material that was already published. It's like walking around with the front page of the (New York) Daily News asking, 'Do you recognize this guy?''

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