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Highsmith v. Getty Images et al

By Neil Rosini

In Highsmith v. Getty Images et al, No. 1:16-cv05924-JSR, Southern District of NY, Judge Jed Rakoff recently dismissed claims alleging unauthorized modification of copyright management information under the DMCA; violations of the Lanham Act for false advertising and unfair competition; and common law unfair competition.

Surviving were claims against defendants Getty, License Compliance Services (LCS) and Alamy for deceptive acts and practices under the NY General Business Law Section 349, alleging that the defendants held themselves out falsely as the plaintiff's agent, charged fees, and collected settlements of copyright infringement claims for the plaintiff's photos without the right to do so.

The plaintiff, Carol M. Highsmith, is a distinguished American photographer who dedicated thousands of photographs to the public domain, depositing them with the Library of Congress. The lawsuit was triggered by a letter addressed to Highsmith's foundation, accusing it of copyright infringement and demanding payment for displaying one of her own photographs on the foundation's website.

Thousands of her photos had been acquired by the defendants Getty and Alamy for their archives, which include many other public domain images, and offered Highsmith's photos to customers for a fee. The defendant LCS was retained by Alamy to seek out users of content and send them letters like the one sent to Highsmith's foundation.

There will be no opinion from Judge Rakoff, however, as the case was dismissed with prejudice by stipulation on Thursday.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 16, 2016 5:56 PM.

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