Photographer Howard Schatz filed a complaint on Wednesday in the Central District of California against Verizon Communications doing business as Yahoo.com, Oath, Inc., and potentially involved individuals for copyright infringement over the defendants’ purported use and publication of the plaintiff’s copyrighted photographs online without his permission or a license.
According to the complaint, Schatz owns the registered subject photography. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants “have willfully copied, reproduced, displayed, and distributed the Infringing Content for financial benefit and without Plaintiff’s consent.” Consequently, the defendants were accused of copyright infringement.
The plaintiff proffered that the defendants accessed the subject photography by viewing it on Schatz’s website, social media accounts, other online sites, or in a print publication. The plaintiff contended that the “identicality of the copying also show(s) access.”
Furthermore, Schatz averred that the defendants infringed his copyright by “creating infringing derivative works from the Subject Photography” and making them public online. According to the plaintiff, the defendants have engaged in vicarious and contributory infringement because they knowingly helped infringe and are therefore liable. Moreover, the plaintiff proffered that the defendants removed his copyright management information from and/or added false copyright management information to the subject photography. The plaintiff claimed that he has suffered harm and that the defendants have obtained ill-gotten profits as a result of their conduct.
Schatz has sought to enjoin the defendants from further infringement and for them to remove the subject photography from any of their publications either in print or online; an award for all of the defendants’ profits and his losses; an award for damages; to enter a constructive trust for any of the defendants’ revenues or proceeds; an award for costs and fees; and interest.
The plaintiff is represented by Doniger / Burroughs Law Firm.