Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Indianapolis, Indiana – Indiana copyright attorney and professional photographer Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana has sued PROACT Search LLC of Wilmette, Illinois in the Southern District of Indiana on allegations of copyright infringement. At issue is a copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline taken by Bell that has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office.

In 2000, Plaintiff Bell photographed the downtown Indianapolis skyline. Bell indicates in this Indiana complaint that the photo has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office as Registration Number VA0001785115.


PROACT Search, which does business on the Internet at, advertises itself as a national executive search firm that assists school districts to fill leadership-level job vacancies.

In this Indiana copyright lawsuit, Bell contends that PROACT Search used his copyrighted image without permission when it used Bell’s photo in promotional material that announced that “Indianapolis Public Schools hires PROACT Search to find a new Deputy Superintendent.” Bell claims that Defendant “willfully and recklessly falsely claimed that it owned the copyrights of all images and photos contained in the advertising piece,” including Bell’s photo of Indianapolis.

Bell asserts that PROACT Search has thus profited from the use of the copyrighted photo. This use is alleged to have been committed willfully and deliberately and with oppression, fraud, and malice.

In this federal complaint, which Plaintiff Bell filed on his own behalf, Bell asserts claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition. He asks for an accounting of all gains, profits and advantages derived by Defendant as a result of the alleged infringement and for statutory and/or actual damages. He also seeks reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Practice Tip: Richard Bell has been a prolific copyright plaintiff in the Indiana federal courts.  Some previous blog posts regarding his litigation include:

The case was assigned to Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson and Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue in the Southern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 1:15-cv-01005-JMS-DKL.


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