ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Back to School: How a Pulitzer-Winning Photographer Took Copyright Law into His Own Hands

By July 13, 2020 Copyright, Current News

Screenshot of article posted on Creative FutureCross-posted from Creative Future
[by Justin Sanders]

For most creatives, when faced with the pervasive problem of litigating infringement of their work, the solution is to hire a lawyer. For photographer Earl Richardson, the solution was to become a lawyer himself.

A former photojournalist, Richardson experienced the decline of the newspaper industry from the inside. At the beginning of his career, when the industry was thriving, he shared a Pulitzer Prize with the photography staff at the Kansas City Star, for their coverage of the city’s tragic Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in 1981. Years later, as director of photography for The Topeka Capital-Journal, he couldn’t even get basic expenditures approved.

“I couldn’t hire stringers. I couldn’t buy supplies,” he told CreativeFuture from his home in Lawrence, Kansas. “After two years of that, I thought, ‘You know what – enough. I’m just going to go work for myself.’”

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