Photographer Files $1B Suit Against Getty for Sale of Public Photos

This $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Getty Images Threatens Public Domain Art
– Format Magazine

Format Magazine interviewed Manatt’s Robert Jacobs, co-chair of the firm’s entertainment, sports and media litigation practice, for articles about a copyright dispute between Getty Images and photographer Carol Highsmith involving public domain art.

Jacobs said the court will determine if Highsmith retains the rights to her photos, or relinquished them when she gave the photos to the Library of Congress. He compared it to the 2015 “Happy Birthday” copyright case, in which a federal judge ruled that companies had been improperly collecting royalties on the popular song for the past 80 years. Jacobs said of the Getty case, “It could have been a mistake or more nefarious, I don’t know, but the issue is whether Getty acted improperly.”

Read the article here

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