A US jury has ordered two agencies - Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Getty Images - to pay a total of $1.2m (£740,000) for photographs they acquired through Twitter.
The case is one of the first to address how images that individuals make available to the public through social media can be used by third parties for commercial purposes.
And it could well prove to be a landmark decision, though the judgment in favour of freelance photographer Daniel Morel is open to appeal.
He took pictures in the aftermath of an earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and created a Twitter account (@PhotoMorel) to upload them.
A few hours later, the pictures were downloaded by an AFP staffer and subsequently distributed to Getty without Morel's authorisation.
Morel, a former Associated Press staffer, argued that the agencies had violated the copyright act after the images were re-published by AFP without his permission.