23 April 2018Copyright

Copyright lawsuit added to Cambridge Analytica’s list of problems

Cambridge Analytica has been served with a copyright infringement claim for the unauthorised use of an “iconic” photograph.

An amended complaint for wilful copyright infringement was filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday, April 20.

The plaintiff, US-based photographer and journalist Todd Bigelow, took the copyright-protected image in question in 1994. The picture depicts people trying to gain entry into the US by climbing a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Bigelow has had his images featured in publications including  TIME,  Sports Illustrated and  National Geographic Traveller.

It is alleged that Cambridge Analytica—and/or an entity working for it, Global Science Research—made prominent use of the image as part of an online personality test when it collected data from millions of Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica creates and uses data to “change audience behaviour”, according to its website.

The company has been embroiled in international controversy over its alleged unauthorised collection of data from millions of Facebook users.

Bigelow claimed that the defendant did not ask for his permission to use the photograph at any time.

“In fact, in light of the nefarious uses to which Cambridge Analytica allegedly put the data collected in part of utilising the photo, Bigelow never would have granted any such permission,” said his claim.

Bigelow is seeking damages for the alleged infringing activity.

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