Saturday, June 21, 2008

One WHOPPER of a Copyright Infringement Verdict

From Carolyn Wright, the Photo Attorney we learn of a photographer in Florida who just won a $12 MILLION verdict for infringement of the copyright of seven photographs. In fact, the actual award was for the infringement of just three of them.

Sadly, a little research on my own makes me believe that the judgment is probably uncollectable. The named corporate defendants appear to have been involuntarily deregistered/dissolved for failure to file various papers with the state. I'm guessing that the actual capital of the firm(s) is either safely offshore or, more likely, disappeared into the sinkhole of the real estate bust. On the other hand, the named principal got defaulted too... she can put a skiptracer on him and with the prospect of a multimillion-dollar commission, I'm betting they'll find anything that can be found.

However, whether or not this individual plaintiff ever collects, it does provide a pretty good example of just how high damages in such cases can go. Even if the particular use (advertising the sale of some high-end houses) hadn't provided such a massive gross revenues number, the court indicated that it would have been prepared to award the plaintiff over a million dollars in damages anyway. Register, register, REGISTER those works!


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