New Copyright Claims Board Rules in Favor of Photographer in First Case

by | Mar 7, 2023 | PetaPixel

Featured image: Depositphotos

Cross-posted from petapixel.com [by Matt Growcoot]

The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) has made its first final decision with a photographer awarded $1,000 for a copyright infringement.

In a judgment on February 28, 2023, the CCB ruled in favor of the plaintiff, David Oppenheimer, who sued a lawyer named Douglas Prutton for using one of his photographs on his website without permission.

The CCB was set up in 2021 to help small copyright infringement claims of lower value giving photographers an alternative to hiring pricey copyright attorneys who generally balk at smaller monetary payouts of this kind.

The CCB’s First Case

According to Plagiarism Today, Prutton never denied using the photographer’s image, stating that his adult daughter had built the website for him and included Oppenheimer’s photo. Oppenheimer initially demanded $30,000 with Prutton counteroffering $500.

Oppenheimer filed a lawsuit in federal court but both parties agreed to move the case to the newly-formed CCB in April 2022.

A three-judge panel heard the case. Prutton’s defended himself in two ways, the first claiming fair use and the second invoking the unclean hands argument.

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