Photo Attorney

Oct 20, 2008

Greenberg Continues Battle Against NGS

As previously reported, photographer Jerry Greenberg lost his fight against National Geographic in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals when the court held that that CDs of previously published National Geographic magazines were "revisions" and not new works. Although Greenberg wanted to be paid additionally for the use of his photos in the CDs, the Court found that NGS' use of the photos in the CDs was included in his initial license to NGS.

Greenberg now has filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to clarify the holding in New York Times v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483 (2001), regarding a similar issue of written works. Greenberg claims that the 11th Circuit inaccurately applied the Tasini case to his, wrongfully resulting in a ruling against him.

The US Supreme Court does not have to hear the matter. "Review on writ of certiorari is not a matter of right, but a judicial discretion. A petition for writ of certiorari will be granted only for compelling reasons." Rule 10, Rules of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, a denial of "cert" does not mean that the Supreme Court agrees with the 11th Circuit. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will recognize the importance of Mr. Greenberg's issue.