BackGrid sues Audacy for copyright infringement
BackGrid USA, a celebrity news agency, has filed a lawsuit against Audacy, a free broadcast and internet radio platform, alleging that it violated BackGrid’s copyrights in 21 pictures by posting them on its websites without authorization.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the location of Audacy's corporate headquarters in September. Audacy subsidiaries in Georgia, Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, New York, and Missouri are also named as defendants.
According to BackGrid USA, it is "one of Hollywood's largest celebrity-photography agencies" and claims to have licensed images to TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, People, and other media clients.
The lawsuit claims that BackGrid first notified Audacy in September 2020 that its celebrity photos were being used with authorization and has since notified the music platform about other violations that have not been addressed. BackGrid also filed an earlier infringement action against Audacy in a California district court and that case remains pending.
It asserts that by posting the images to its social media accounts and enticing followers to share them, the music behemoth made matters worse for BackGrid. As a result, BackGrid experienced "substantial economic damage," according to the lawsuit.
The complaint claims that Audacy "has driven significant traffic to its websites" in large part due to the availability of the "sought-after and searched-for" celebrity images.
Backgrid asserts that even if the losses "can't be accurately computed," doing nothing will cause "irreparable injury."
It is requesting that the court rule that Audacy is violating BackGrid's copyrights and issue a cease-and-desist order. The lawsuit also seeks compensation for lost wages and legal fees.
Photograph companies have long accused media corporations of violating their copyrighted pictures by displaying them on their websites without first obtaining permission.
PitchMark covered a similar story where the makers of the well-known AI art tool Stable Diffusion, Stability AI, were being sued in a United States District Court by Getty Images for allegedly violating the copyrights of 12 million photographs from the company’s collection and is asking for trillions of dollars in compensation.
PitchMark helps innovators deter idea theft, so that third parties that they share their idea with get the idea but don’t take it. Visit PitchMark.net and register for free as a PitchMark member today.