CBS Sues Man For Posting Picture Of a 59-Year TV-Show on Social Media

By | October 30, 2017

Just just a few days in the past we posted an article in regards to the dozens of instances unbiased photographers file towards mainstream media shops.

These lawsuits accuse corporations comparable to CBS, NBC, and Warner Bros of utilizing copyrighted images with out the homeowners permission and have resulted in tons of of settlements this 12 months alone.

While the proof in these instances is usually sturdy, going up towards such highly effective corporations isn’t with out danger. They’ve the cash and assets to battle again, by any means crucial. That is what New York photographer Jon Tannen has witnessed as nicely.

In February, Tannen sued CBS Interactive as a end result of it used considered one of his copyrighted images on the internet site 247sports.com with out being paid. Whereas he hoped this might end in a good settlement, CBS discovered a smoking gun and determined to fireplace back.

A few days in the past the photographer was hit with a fairly uncommon lawsuit. In a four-page grievance, CBS Broadcasting accuses him of posting a copyright-infringing picture of the traditional TV-show Gunsmoke on social media.

Gunsmoke is no doubt considered one of the longest-running drama TV-shows in US historical past and aired on CBS from 1955 by means of 1975. Within the grievance, the media large manufacturers Tannen a hypocrite for posting the infringing CBS screenshots on-line.

This copyright infringement motion arises out of Defendants unauthorized use of Plaintiffs helpful mental property. Tannen hypocritically engaged on this act of infringement whereas concurrently bringing go well with towards Plaintiffs sister firm, CBS Interactive Inc., claiming it had violated his personal copyright.

The complaint

The screenshot(s), which we have been unable to find on the time of writing, is taken from the Dooley Surrenders episode first aired in 1958. Whereas many would classify a screenshot from a full episode as honest use, CBS is having none of it.

Without any license or authorization from Plaintiff, Defendant has copied and revealed by way of social media platforms images copied from the Dooley Surrenders episode of GUNSMOKE, CBS writes, including that the infringement of Plaintiffs copyright is willful inside the that means of the Copyright Act.

CBS says that its been harmed by the infringing motion however it cant decide any precise damages. As an alternative, it requests statutory damages for willful copyright infringement which may attain $150,000 per work.

Of course, its unlikely that Tannen must pay that. CBSs lawsuit is a transparent retaliatory transfer by means of which the corporate hopes to minimize the potential damages for their very own alleged infringement.

Posting a screenshot of a TV-episode is on a very completely different degree than utilizing a full photograph in a publication, after all. Nonetheless, CBS has proven that its prepared to place up a battle, and with a strong crew of attorneys they’re a tough adversary.

The full CBS grievance is out there here (pdf). A duplicate of Tannens unique go well with towards CBS Interactive will be discovered here (pdf).


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