Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently Sayre Berman (“Berman”), the Plaintiff, creates photographic images, which she licenses for various uses including online and print publications. Berman claims she took a photograph of Ray Luzier (the “Photograph”) on March 25, 2019 and registered that photograph with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. VA 2-145-705.
According to the Complaint, Berman observed a copy of the Photograph on Auralex Acoustics, Inc.’s (“Auralex”) website on July 13, 2021. Auralex, the Defendant, apparently also uploaded the Photograph to its Instagram and Facebook accounts. Berman claims because the Photograph was copied, stored, and displayed without license or permission, Auralex infringed on her copyrights. Further, the infringing posts each apparently included a URL “for a fixed tangible medium of expression that was sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be communicated for a period of more than transitory duration and therefore constitutes a specific infringement.”
As Berman did not license the right to use the Photograph to Auralex, she is seeking damages for direct copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501 et seq. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504, Berman may seek an award of statutory damages against Auralex in an amount up to $150,000.00 for each infringement. She may also recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505. Berman is also claiming Auralex falsified, removed, and/or altered copyright management information associated with the Photograph in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1202. Per the Complaint, the article from which it is believed the Photograph was copied contained a photograph credit at the bottom of the Photograph which was apparently removed. Berman may elect to recover statutory damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(3) in a sum of not more than $25,000.00 from Auralex for each violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1202.