Over the previous 12 months, dozens of unbiased photographers have taken mainstream media shops to court, accusing the businesses of utilizing their work with out permission.
While the photographers solely have a tiny fraction of the authorized budgets of their rich adversaries, they’ve managed to attain a quantity of settlements.
This isn’t any shock, because the proof in these circumstances is commonly undisputed. Nonetheless, New York photographer Jon Tannen discovered that going up towards a media mogul will not be with out threat. When he sued CBS Broadcasting just a few weeks in the past, the corporate retaliated in a extremely uncommon way.
Instead of resolving the matter behind closed doorways, CBS got here out guns blazing. The corporate filed a lawsuit towards the photographer accusing him of posting a copyright-infringing screenshot of a TV present on social media the 59-year-old present Gunsmoke.
While posting a half-century outdated screenshot of an episode is type of completely different from utilizing a current photograph in a industrial publication, CBS branded Tannen a hypocrite within the criticism.
Follow up filings revealed how issues spiraled uncontrolled. Each events weren’t capable of agree on a settlement. In accordance with CBS, Tannen demanded greater than one hundred instances the worth of a license, which they refused to pay.
Instead, they filed a lawsuit of their very own. It was a transparent retaliatory transfer and with out informing the photographer prematurely, lawyer Richard Liebowitz wrote to the court.
[I]n the midst of settlement negotiations on this case, Ballard Spahr LLP, the identical legislation agency which serves as protection counsel right here, filed a patently frivolous copyright infringement case on behalf of CBS towards Tannen in apparent retaliation for this lawsuit, he writes.
While lawsuits over TV present screenshots are extremely uncommon, this one apparently revitalized the settlement negotiations.
Both events just lately knowledgeable the courtroom that they’re finalizing an settlement within the preliminary lawsuit, which can finish the case. Consequently, CBS additionally dismissed its case towards the photographer this week. As is common, particulars of the settlement usually are not disclosed.
Meanwhile, one other photographer filed a lawsuit towards CBS this week, once more represented by lawyer Richard Liebowitz, whos not hesitant in concentrating on the corporate once more.
In this case the photographer, New York-based Lawrence Schwartzwald, accuses CBS Interactive of utilizing a photograph he took of actress Barbara Streisand and actor Jeff Bridges on CBSNews.com with out acquiring permission.
With a screenshot of the picture of the location on file, the proof appears fairly compelling. Nonetheless, lets see if CBS can dig up some dust on the photographers social media accounts this time round.
A copy of Schwartzwalds criticism is out there here (pdf).
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