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CU-Boulder student photographer Andy Duann was blessed with being in the right place at the right time last Thursday. Duann snapped the shot of the "falling bear".
The "falling bear" was a 200 pound tranquilized black bear who climbed a tree outside of the CU dorms. Moments before, the bear had been shot out of the tree it was sleeping in. Duann snapped a shot of the bear as it was falling in mid air onto a safety pad.
Duann's picture has become an internet sensation, and was picked up by newspapers as far away as Taiwan. The problem is, Duann isn't being credited for the photo by many sources.
Duann is a member of the CU Independent student newspaper. Under normal circumstances a member would not be allowed to sell a photo to an outside source, but since Duann joined the newspaper in the middle of the semester and did not sign the contract forbidding this, he is entitled to claim ownership of his pictures.
This allowed him to sell his photo to The Boulder Daily Camera despite the CU Independent's complaints.
The Associated Press recently banned the photo because of the copyright controversy. "I am happy that people enjoy my picture and that media outlets have given exposure to my picture," Duann said, "All I want is respect for my copyright."
Duann has met with the CU journalism department who agreed that the copyright was legally his. "The reality is although we do have policies in place, unfortunately Andy slipped through the cracks because he was a mid-semester hire," said Gil Asakawa, the CU Independent's adviser.
Duann was not paid by the Daily Camera for his photo as a normal freelancer due to his membership with CU Independent. He was given copyright credit. Who knew a traveling bear could cause such a controversy?
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