The Plaintiff in this copyright lawsuit is an attorney and professional photographer living in McCordsville, Indiana. In 2000, Plaintiff took two photographs of the downtown Indianapolis skyline from a location on the Canal near the USS Indianapolis Memorial. Both of Plaintiff’s photographs were duly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and posted on the Internet in August 2000. All of the various defendants have allegedly utilized Plaintiff’s photographs on their respective websites without permission.
Website owners, you should immediately check your websites to determine whether you know the source of EVERY photograph. Unless you’re certain that you have permission to use the photographs (or qualify for some exception to copyright infringement like fair use), remove/replace the photographs at once. These photograph copyright lawsuits have been occurring for far too long to continue to plead ignorance or innocent infringement. Take your own photographs, hire a photographer or license existing photographs. But don’t get caught in a lawsuit because you take the easy way out and grab an image from Google.
Whatever you do, definitely don’t use Plaintiff’s photographs…he has a long history of litigation to enforce his copyrights:
Richard N. Bell v. Diversified Vehicle Services et al
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00525
File Date: Monday, April 07, 2014
Plaintiff: Richard N. Bell
Plaintiff Counsel: Richard N. Bell – Pro Se
Defendant: Diversified Vehicle Services, Cameron Taylor, Taylor Computer Solutions, Rhonda Williams, Forensic Solutions Inc., Heath Garrett, Crestacom Inc., American Traveler Service Corp. LLC, Mike Cowper, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Easystreet Realty Indianapolis, Drohan Management, Metal Markets, Mattison Corporation, Industrial Heating Equipment Association, Junk Dawgs, Kimberly Hinds
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unfair Competition, Theft
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue