Microsoft Sued For Copyright Infringement by Photographer

Photographer Matilde Gattoni has filed a complaint against Microsoft for copyright infringement. Gattoni accuses Microsoft of “unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photographs of women leading China’s wine revolution” in violation of the Copyright Act of the United States. The copyrights are owned and registered to Gattoni.

Gattoni claimed that Microsoft published an article, which featured her photographs without obtaining a license. Gattoni states that she has licensed her photographs before, however, Microsoft did not license to use her work to use in its article; therefore, the company did not have her permission or consent to publish her photographs on its website, Gattoni alleged that Microsoft has infringed these copyrighted works “by reproducing and publicly displaying the Photographs on the Website” without a license or other authorization. She stated that this infringement was willful, intentional, and purposeful.

The complaint sought declaratory judgment in its favor; award for actual damages and defendants profits or statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringed work; an award for all profits, income, receipts, or other benefits Microsoft has had from this misconduct; an award for costs and fees; pre- and post-judgment interest; and other relief as determined by the court.

The suit is filed in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff is represented by Liebowitz Law Firm.

Recently, a number of photographers have sued websites for using their work without obtaining a license, such as suits against Sinclair Television Group and Vox Media. Meanwhile, Yahoo and AOL were sued for using work when the license expired.