Photographer Takes Google’s YouTube to Court for Copyright Infringement


Another tale of copyright infringement but, this time, not one involving a celebrity or Instagram.

man browsing tablet sitting in front of TV
Man browsing YouTube on tablet sitting in front of TV. Photo by

Don’t worry, not all of the elements are unfamiliar. We still have a photographer alleging copyright infringement and a massive web platform supposedly enabling it.

What makes this case somewhat more unique than the random sharing of a copyrighted celebrity picture is that the photographer, in this case, is alleging that multiple photos were used over different videos and, despite efforts to resolve this using YouTube’s takedown system, there was no resolution that couldn’t be obtained without going to court.

We first read about this story over at PetaPixel which cites the complaint which states that YouTube “committed acts of contributory copyright infringement with actual knowledge of, or in reckless disregard for, Plaintiff’s copyrights in the Subject Works, which renders those acts willful, intentional, and malicious to the copyright infringement of his work.”

Alexander Stross’ complaint also notes that this is a widespread – and ignored – problem on the platform. Obviously, Stross is seeking compensation including legal relief and compensation as well as “any profits attributed to his work.”

While this may not be relevant to the case at hand it is worth noting that this isn’t Stross first case. PetaPixel reports that he has waged successful cases against Airbnb and others in the past for infringing on his copyright. That’s to say, he probably knows copyright infringement when he experiences it and it will be interesting to see how this case against YouTube goes and what kind of precedent it may set for the rest of us.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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