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The general counsel of a professional photographers’ trade group has slammed a Southern California federal judge for a preliminary ruling handed down in an Internet-related copyright case.

“I would say that’s a judge who hasn’t much familiarity with the Copyright Act or who has a bad law clerk,” said Victor S. Perlman, general counsel and managing director of the 6,000-member American Association of Media Photographers. He is referring to U.S. District Judge Gary L. Taylor’s preliminary determination that Ditto.com’s use of “thumbnail” images in its search engine does not infringe on the rights of California photographer Leslie A. Kelly. Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., SAC No. 99-560 GLT (ANx).

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