A freelance writer and photographer claims in a legal filing that news publishing outfit
Journal Register Company reprinted a photograph of the plaintiff’s without providing him artistic credit or monetary compensation.
Attorney J. Conor Corcoran filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia on June 26 on behalf of Jason DeCesare of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
The complaint alleges that Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register Co. committed copyright infringement when its publication, The Delaware County Daily Times, republished a photo the plaintiff had taken of former Philadelphia television newscaster Larry Mendte.
The suit claims that DeCesare took the photograph of Mendte back in late April 2007, and subsequently published the picture, along with an interview the plaintiff conducted with Mendte, on a website called Phillyist.com.
The story was published under the pen name G.W. Bridge.
DeCesare published the same photo of Mendte under the pen name Triborough on another website, according to the complaint.
In late February 2010, the Delaware County Daily Times published the plaintiff’s photo alongside an article the newspaper ran about Mendte landing a job with a television station in New York, the suit states.
The lawsuit claims that JRC “intentionally, knowingly and willfully, directly and/or derivatively, outrageously, recklessly, negligently and/or maliciously stole the Plaintiff’s photo.”
The suit further alleges that JRC’s publication of the photo in one of its newspapers led to the company reaping “considerable profits,” none of which were realized by the plaintiff.
“In doing so, Defendant had produced the infringing article through the Defendant’s website and/or other media, adding to the considerable public popularity of its own products and/or services, and thereby infringing upon Plaintiff’s copyright therein and inuring considerable profits from the same,” the lawsuit states. “None of these profits have been shared with the Plaintiff.”
The lawsuit states that the defendant never contacted DeCesare to obtain permission to reprint his photograph.
In addition to the two counts of copyright infringement, the lawsuit also contains a claim of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
DeCesare seeks declaratory judgment that the defendant stole the plaintiff’s work as well as injunctive relief prohibiting the defendant from further distributing, marketing, selling, publishing or otherwise promoting the infringed work.
He also seeks attorney’s fees and litigation costs related to the civil action.
On Dec. 1 of last year, DeCesare filed another federal lawsuit against Comcast Corp. also alleging copyright infringement relating to the same photograph.
In that suit, DeCesare claims that the cable giant used his photo during a segment of the television program “It’s Your Call With Lynn Doyle.”
The federal case number is 2:12-cv-03593-SD.