New year starts with lawsuits over using photos on the internet

Glenn W. Peterson

An increasing number of individuals and companies find themselves facing lawsuits for copyright infringement for using photographs owned by someone else. Even broadcasting companies such as Lieberman Broadcasting and Bonneville International are not immune to these types of accusations. Both companies started off 2020 facing allegations they infringed on the copyrights of photographers for using certain photos in articles posted on the internet.

The complaints focus on two radio stations here in California using material owned by two separate photographers. In one complaint, the radio station used a photo of the Jonas Brothers. The other complaint focuses on the other station’s use of a photograph of El Chapo, a notorious drug lord currently serving a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.

Supposedly, neither station obtained permission from the photographers to use their materials on their respective websites. The suits go on to assert that the photographers received no compensation for the use of their copyrighted material. To make matters worse, both lawsuits were filed by someone known in this area of law for filing numerous copyright infringement complaints across the country.

Publishing material on the internet has become problematic for many people here in California and elsewhere. No matter how many times a photograph has been published, it only takes one time for someone to become the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Those individuals and companies could end up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to plaintiffs in these cases, so it would be wise to consult with an attorney experienced in intellectual property claims such as these.