Successful Lawsuit Against Buzzfeed Has Potentially Huge Implications for Photography Copyright Infringement Claims Moving Forward


A recent lawsuit victory for a photographer against online publication Buzzfeed could make it easier for photographers to bring forward copyright infringement claims in the future.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Gregory Mango’s photo was initially licensed by a person named Gary Parker who was himself at the center of a discrimination lawsuit against New York City at the time, PetaPixel reports. Rather than license the photo from Mango, Buzzfeed used it without permission and listed the photo’s owner as Parker’s law firm. Mango sued the company for both copyright infringement and for removing the copyright management information attached to the image.

Buzzfeed fought the second case and basically pled ignorance. The court said that didn’t matter. Mango was awarded damages and attorney’s fees but the real substance here is that it will make it easier for photographers to seek redress in the future.

NPPA General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher told the press, “The NPPA is very pleased with the Second Circuit’s opinion regarding the CMI provisions of the DMCA in what it called a ‘relatively novel issue’ and ‘a question of first impression for this Court,’ which will greatly alleviate the burden of proof for photographers and require users to exercise greater due diligence when appropriating images. As we have often said, copyright is ‘complicated’ and takes a great deal of work to bring a claim, with attorney fees and costs often dwarfing the award as is the case here.”

Have you followed this lawsuit against Buzzfeed? What do you think about its implications for the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to check out our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking here.


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

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