On July 25, photographer Carol M. Highsmith filed a lawsuit against Getty Images seeking $1 billion in damages over the company’s alleged infringement of her photo copyrights. The lawsuit names both Getty Images and distributor Alamy, claiming both have been charging licensing fees for the use of photos she provided to the Library of Congress for public use. The suit also names LCS, which it claims is owned by or operated under common control with Getty. In a response to the lawsuit, Getty said, ‘We believe it is based on a number of misconceptions.’
In its statement, Getty Images distances itself from the copyright infringement claim, stating that LCS was acting on behalf of Alamy.
The content in question has been part of the public domain for many years. It is standard practice for image libraries to distribute and provide access to public domain content, and it is important to note that distributing and providing access to public domain content is different to asserting copyright ownership of it.
LCS works on behalf of content creators and distributors to protect them against the unauthorized use of their work. In this instance, LCS pursued an infringement on behalf of its customer, Alamy. Any enquiries regarding that matter should be directed to Alamy; however, as soon as the plaintiff contacted LCS, LCS acted swiftly to cease its pursuit with respect to the image provided by Alamy and notified Alamy it would not pursue this content.
The company also said that, assuming it can’t ‘rectify’ the situation with Highsmith, ‘we will defend ourselves vigorously.’
Via: Getty Images