Court Rules for Photographer in Copyright Infringement Case

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, a California district court has granted summary judgment to Glen E. Friedman for his copyright infringement case against Thierry Guetta for creating, reproducing, displaying, and selling products incorporating Plaintiff’sphotograph of the hip hop music group Run-DMC.  Friedman’s original photograph as shown in the Complaint is:

Friedman alleged in the Complaint that Guetta sold the following products (among others):

As the court explained in its Order, Guetta obtained a copy of the Photograph from the Internet.  The photo did not have a copyright notice on or with it. Guetta claimed that his works were not not substantially similar to the photograph, that he did not copy the copyrightable elements of the photo, and that his use of the Photograph was fair use.  The court disagreed and explained its reasoning in the Order.  Summary judgment means that the court has ruled that Guetta infringed Friedman’s photograph.  The court now will move to the damages phase, determining what amount Guetta will have to pay to Friedman.

Congrats to Mr. Friedman for protecting his work!

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