Photographer’s win against wine retailer good reminder that you should ensure you have rights to pictures you use in advertisements.

The plaintiff in this case is a professional photographer whose work is registered with the copyright office. He sued New York Vintners LLC for copyright infringement when they used a picture of his on a third-party website, PULSD.COM promoting their wine education classes. You can see the photograph and read the complaint here. For whatever reason, the wine retailer did not respond to the complaint and default was entered against them. In reviewing the claims and setting the judgment amount, the magistrate’s report and recommendation inquired as to the fair market value of use of the photograph and set it at rates generally charged by the plaintiff for use of the photo. The plaintiff also won damages for a DMCA violation and received some of the attorneys’ fees he sought to recoup. 

The Takeaway: Clearance is no joke. Taking the time to use your own photographs or properly source them and ensure you have rights to third-party vendors is a necessity. Here rather than pay $6,000 in damages, the use of the photo might only have cost $1,000.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: