"Carol Highsmith is a distinguished photographer who has traveled all over America, aiming to chronicle for posterity the life of the nation in the early 21st century. She’s donating her work to the public via the Library of Congress, which has called her act “one of the greatest acts of generosity in the history of the Library.” The Carol M. Highsmith Archive, which is expected ultimately to encompass more than 100,000 images, is accessible royalty-free via the library’s website. So one can imagine Highsmith’s reaction last December when she got a threatening letter from a firm associated with the photo licensing agency Getty Images, accusing her of license infringement by posting one of her own images online. The firm demanded a “settlement payment” of $120 from her nonprofit This Is America! Foundation, backed up by the implicit threat to take her to court. Actually, one doesn’t have to imagine Highsmith’s reaction. One can read all about it in the lawsuit she filed this week against Getty in New York federal court, accusing the agency of illicitly claiming rights to 18,755 of her photographs and seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The lawsuit also names Alamy, a British-based licensing agency that was puportedly the license holder whose rights were infringed. Neither Getty nor Alamy had the right to claim a license or copyright on her photos, she says."
Friday, July 29, 2016
Photographer sues Getty Images for $1 billion after she's billed for her own photo; Los Angeles Times, 7/29/16
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times; Photographer sues Getty Images for $1 billion after she's billed for her own photo: