Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Copyright Law - Fifth Circuit: Does A Compilation of Photographs Count Only As One Photo?

Copyrights in photographs, Compilations of Photographs, Statutory Damages, Oral License, Attorneys Fees

Cullum v. Diamond A Hunting, Inc., 2012 WL 3206587 (5th Cir. August 8, 2012)(unpublished).  Ranch hand took photos of ranch.  Gave ranch owner CD with photos.  Ranch used photos for website and brochure.  Relationship soured.  Ranch hand demanded use of photos cease.  Ranch continued using photos.   Lower court found oral license for period prior to cease and desist request and awarded only one statutory damages award of $950.  Denied attorneys fees.   On appeal, single award of statutory damages upheld because all images registered with Copyright Office as a compilation and because photos referred to as a “collection” in the complaint.  Denial of attorneys fees affirmed as within the trial court’s discretion after having balanced Fogerty v. Fantasy Inc. factors.
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2012-2013 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

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