Remember the iconic Pulp Fiction movie poster? You know, the flick starring Uma Thurman and directed by Quentin Tarantino (of later Kill Bill fame)?
It’s probably one of the more ubiquitous pieces of pop culture media out there and the photographer behind it just had his case for copyright infringement tossed out…for waiting too long to file it in the first place.
Were Firooz Zahedi’s rights violated? We will never know because one judge in New York decided the photographer had gone over the statute of limitations with his complaint and thus lost his case by default.
“Where, as here, Zahedi actually knew that Miramax was exploiting a photograph of which he claimed ownership without giving him credit or royalties, his failure to bring suit to assert his ownership rights is fatal to his case,” wrote Justice Dolly Gee in the ruling on the case.
Gee further elaborated that the original concept sketches for the photo shoot as well as the “institutional memory” of those involved couldn’t be relied upon to establish copyright infringement since it was so long ago.
A counterclaim from Miramax against Zahedi for copyright infringement will proceed, the New York Post reports. The website did not get a response from Zahedi’s lawyer on whether or not his client would appeal the ruling.
Just goes to show that you can never be too quick to protect your rights as a creator in this business.
Of course, if you have any stories or thoughts on copyright law as it pertains to photographs and video we’d love to hear them in the comments section below.
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