Articles Posted in Fair Use

New Jersey – Plaintiff Christopher Sadowski is suing Defendant Restoration 1 By J&D, LLC, of New Palestine, Indiana, over violation of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501, for allegedly reproducing, distributing, and publicly displaying Sadowski’s intellectual property for its own commercial purposes.

Photographer-300x200According to the claim, Sadowski is an award-winning photojournalist with 19 years of experience in documenting ordinary life and the human condition through photography. His work has been commissioned in magazines and newspapers such as the New York Post, Daily Mail Online, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, New York Times, Fox News, CBS News, NBC News, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek Magazine, and People Magazine.  The complaint states that while the Plaintiff does sell limited, one-time use licenses to customers, he always retains copyright ownership of the photographs.

The suit accuses Restoration 1, a property damage restoration company, of using Sadowski’s photograph of Christmas lights on the Restoration 1 website without the proper licensing or permission to do so.  The Plaintiff claims that the Defendant has never been licensed to use the photograph and upon learning of its unauthorized use, the Defendant has not been willing to negotiate a reasonable license for it. Furthermore, the complaint states that Restoration 1 displays a copyright disclaimer (“Copyright © 2017”) on the page of the website that contains the photo, allegedly asserting that Restoration 1 owns the rights to everything on the webpage, including the photo in question.

HonestAbeLogoTerre Haute, Indiana – The Plaintiff, Honest Abe Roofing Franchise, Inc. (“Honest Abe”), is an Indiana Corporation with its principal place of business in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Honest Abe has been installing, repairing, and maintaining residential roofs since 2005.  They have numerous locations in multiple states.

The Defendants, DCH & Associates, LLC, and Honest Abe Roofing of Macon Georgia, LLC, are Georgia Limited Liability Companies. Dameion Harris and Christine Harris are listed as residents of Dacula Georgia and are the sole members of both LLC’s.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Christopher Sadowski of Hawthorne, New Jersey, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, VideoIndiana Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, infringed its rights by publicly displaying a copy written photograph owned and registered by Plaintiff. Plaintiff is seeking damages, statutory damages, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, and pre-judgment interest and any other relief the court deem proper.

The photograph at issue in this case was taken by Sadowski at a protest outside of NBC Studios where Donald Trump was opening Saturday Night Live (the “Photograph”). On November 7, 2015, after licensing the Photograph from Sadowski, the New York Post ran an article that featured the Photograph and identified Sadowski as the photographer. The Photograph is registered with the United States Copryight Office and has the registration number VA 1-989-742.

Sadowski alleges that Defendant ran an article discussing Trump’s Saturday Night Live appearance using the Photograph without licensing the Photograph from him, constituting copyright infringement. The Plaintiff also claims that Defendant copied the Photograph from the New York Post article and removed the Plaintiff’s identifying information so as to conceal their infringement of the copyrighted photograph. For this claim, Plaintiff alleges they are entitled to costs, attorneys’ fees, gains and profits obtained by Defendant for the infringing use, or statutory damages ranging from $2,500.00 up to $25,000.00 per violation pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(3)

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