Photographer Deborah Feingold has won her lawsuit against a company that used her photos of celebrities Keanu Reeves and Madonna to sell merchandise.
In what is being called a ruling the shows the limits of the “safe harbor portion” of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because RageOn Inc. did not remove the offending user-generated merchandise from sale quickly enough, the court ruled according to Bloomberg Law. RageOn Inc. acts as a middle man between “creators” that hock their merch on the website and people who want to buy it.
Feingold’s legal team was also successful in establishing her copyright claims to the photos in question both of which were challenged by RageOn Inc. during the course of their legal arguments against the photographer. The court didn’t issue a ruling on the damages in the case, asking instead for a “supplemental briefing.” Bloomberg Law reports that Feingold is likely to seek attorney’s fees as well as statutory damages that “range from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed, and up to $150,000 if the infringement was willful.”
As you know if you have followed this blog, copyright infringement and celebrities go hand in hand with the celebs themselves even getting caught using a photographer’s photo without permission from time to time.
This has led to some pioneering efforts from the likes of Kim Kardashian who keeps her own paparazzi team to generate media for her followers and fans to share on the Internet without worrying about infringing on a photographer’s copyright.
What do you think of the photographer’s lawsuit against RageOn Inc.? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.
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