ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Photographer Wins Madonna, Keanu Reeves Pics Infringement Ruling

By July 20, 2020July 22nd, 2020Copyright, Current News

Screenshot of article posted on Bloomberg LawCross-posted from Bloomberg Law
[by Kyle Jahner]

RageOn Inc. infringed photographs of Madonna and Keanu Reeves through t-shirts offered for sale on its website, a New York federal court ruled.

Photographer Deborah Feingold showed that the registration on her book “Bright Moments Photographs + Philosophies” covered the Madonna photo because it wasn’t previously published as defined by the Copyright Act, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Wednesday. The court also rejected RageOn’s safe harbor defense, and its argument that Feingold couldn’t establish that her Reeves photo registration was for the photo in question.

The ruling illustrates the limits of the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects platforms from users’ actions. RageOn didn’t qualify because it didn’t quickly remove the infringing merchandise when notified of it and directly profited from the infringing activity.

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Editor’s Note: Deborah Feingold is an ASMP Life Member.

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