360b /
25 September 2014Copyright

Fox sued over 9/11 photograph

A dispute over a copyright-protected image of fire fighters during the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the US has engulfed broadcaster Fox News for the second time in a year.

The broadcaster, which is run by Rupert Murdoch, has been targeted by North Jersey Media Group (NJMG), publisher of The Record and the Herald News, over its use of an image of three fire fighters with a US flag in the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers following the attack.

The image has been used on the Facebook page of host Bret Baier.

In a complaint filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, NJMG claims an employee took the photo “within the scope of employment” and that NJMG is the sole owner of the picture.

The complaint, filed on September 19, alleges that “on or around” September 10, the day before the 13th anniversary of the attacks, the photograph was uploaded without permission to the page.

The previous year NJMG filed another lawsuit against Fox News against the posting of the image on the Facebook page of another host, Jeanine Pirro.

NMJG has demanded damages as well as a permanent injunction preventing Fox from using the photograph.

Fox did not respond immediately to a request for comment but an “insider” has been quoted by The Wrap news website as saying it was trying to be “shaken down” by the plaintiff.

“This is the second time this has happened now with this particular plaintiff's lawyer,” the Fox representative said.

“These are very small uses of a photograph on a day of remembrance to commemorate the day and share that on social media,” Fox added, before claiming that sharing the picture on Facebook was a “classic fair use” issue under copyright law.

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