7 September 2017Copyright

Buzzfeed at centre of another copyright dispute

Internet media company Buzzfeed has found itself at the centre of another copyright dispute with a photographer.

New-York based photographer Gregory Mango accused Buzzfeed of using his image of Raymond Parker, a man who won a $50,000 payout from the New York Police Department after being rejected from a role for being HIV-positive.

Mango filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday, September 6.

He claimed that in January 2017, the New York Post ran a story on the lawsuit being filed by Parker, and featured the image with authorship credit, "clearly" identifying the image as Mango’s.

In April, Buzzfeed ran an article entitled "New York City to Pay HIV-Positive Man Denied Job With NYPD $50,000", which allegedly featured Mango’s image.

The article has since been removed from the website.

“Defendant did not license the photograph from plaintiff for its article, nor did defendant have plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the photograph on its website,” the complaint stated.

“Defendant removed Mango’s authorship credit from the article on its website.”

The suit added that the photograph was registered with the US Copyright Office and was given copyright registration number VA 2-036-434, effective as of March 26, 2017.

Mango is seeking $150,000 for the infringement, actual damages and profits or statutory damages of at least $2,500 and up to $25,000 for each instance of false copyright management, attorneys’ fees, and a jury trial.

The case will be the fourth time this year that Buzzfeed has been sued for copyright infringement in relation to a photograph, according to a search of the US courts database.

In April, as reported by WIPR, Buzzfeed was sued after it allegedly used images of "Guinness Book of World Records" winners without consent.

Jeffery Werner claimed his photos of a woman with the world’s longest fingernails, the world’s biggest dog, and the tallest fashion model, were taken for the "Guinness Book of World Records" and used without permission.

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