26 June 2017Copyright

Trump Organization sued by photographer for Instagram post

A New York-based photographer has sued US President Donald Trump over the unauthorised use of a photo during the US presidential election campaign.

In the complaint, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, June 22, photographer Julie Dermansky alleged that the Trump Organization (TO), Trump’s holding company, had posted one of her to its Instagram account.

Posted on Trump’s Instagram page in January 2016, according to Dermansky, the image depicts four women wearing t-shirts spelling out the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan at a Trump rally.

The complaint stated that the image received over 27,000 likes and has since been deleted.

The photograph is registered with the US Copyright Office under copyright number VA 2-000-285.

“TO infringed plaintiff’s copyright in the photograph by reproducing and publicly displaying the photograph on the website,” the claim added.

Dermansky alleged that the alleged infringement was “wilful, intentional, and purposeful” and is seeking $150,000 in damages for the alleged infringement.

She is also seeking a jury trial, a ruling requiring TO to account for all the profits derived from the picture, and attorneys’ fees.

In October of last year, WIPR reported that the then-presidential candidate, his son, and the vice president were sued by a British photographer for allegedly using a picture of a bowl of Skittles without permission.

Trump Jr had originally tweeted the image, that has since been deleted, with a message that read: “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Photographer David Kittos said at the time that the unauthorised use of the photograph is “reprehensibly offensive” to him as he is a Cypriot refugee who was forced to flee his home at the age of six years old.

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More on this story

20 October 2016   US presidential candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr, and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence have been dragged into a copyright brawl with a UK-based photographer.
11 September 2017   Fashion model Gigi Hadid is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for allegedly posting a picture of herself on Instagram that belonged to a photographer.
1 August 2018   A US-based photographer has filed a copyright infringement claim against the City of Aiken in South Carolina for using his image without seeking permission.