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Photographer sues media outlet Gannett for copyright infringement over the use of photo she shot

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Photographer sues media outlet Gannett for copyright infringement over the use of photo she shot

US-based photographer Stephanie Campbell has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gannett Media Corp. and more than 220 Gannett news outlets for allegedly using a photo she shot without permission.

Campbell claims she owns the right to a photo she took of former National Football League coach Katie Sowers, which Gannett obtained through a screenshot to publish to their readers and subscribers in over 220 of its publications, including The Detroit Free Press and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The 800-page lawsuit mentioned that Campbell “was afforded unparalleled access to photograph Sowers at the moment she learned about her groundbreaking hire (and was) able to capture high quality, close-up photographs of Sowers’ reaction to the news and subsequent action shots of Sowers coaching.”

She alleged that even though Gannett credited her by stating in captions that it published the photograph “courtesy of Stephanie Campbell,” it is still an unsanctioned image that constitutes an infringement.

Campbell is seeking about US$34 million in damages, which is based on US$150,000 for each alleged infringement.

Alternatively, she could agree to settle for profits Gannett made from the use of the Sowers photo.

In 2019, Campbell sued the New York Times for copyright infringement over the same Sowers photo. She agreed to settle the case with undisclosed terms of the settlement.

PitchMark has covered similar rip-off stories in the past. One such story was about pop star Miley Cyrus being sued for copyright infringement for posting a picture of herself on her Instagram that she didn’t have permission to use. Photographer Robert Barbera claimed she shared the image to her Instagram account without his consent.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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