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Pending lawsuit over allegedly stolen photographs

Many photographers in California work hard to produce their art. Often, their photographs are the reflection of the inner workings of a creative mind and, as such, their personal intellectual property. If other parties use their work without their permission, they may not receive proper compensation and could be seen as implicitly endorsing something with which they disagree. Such use may leave a photographer with no choice but to pursue his or her legal options. A pending lawsuit in another state accuses the Republican National Committee of copyright infringement.

The plaintiff in the case claims that she was hired to photograph an event for a political candidate in another state. After the event, she reportedly gave the candidate's political party and the candidate limited to permission to use some of the photographs. A couple of months later, a friend of the photographer informed her that her image was being used on a mailer promoting the Republican National Committee.

The photographer then opted to file a lawsuit against the RNC. A representative for the RNC claims that the images used in the mailer were taken from the candidate's Facebook page. The RNC further claims that it did not directly produce the mailers. The lawsuit is seeking an injunction to prevent her images from being used again as well as monetary damages.

Some claim that the photographer might not be able to recover more than actual damages in the pending lawsuit because she did not register the copyright until after the alleged infringement had taken place, illustrating the need to be proactive in protecting intellectual property. However, often even when artists in California put such safeguards in place, copyright infringement can occur. Taking legal action may be the best option to rectify such a wrong.

Source: petapixel.com, "Photographer Sues the Republican National Committee for Copyright Infringement", Michael Zhang, May 20, 2017

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