A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an image recently used by Sarah Palin may be worth well over a thousand dollars.
Given the number of questionable remarks Sarah Palin made over her short-lived political career, it should not come as a surprise that Ms. Palin appears to know very little about the law. To illustrate, Sarah Palin is being sued by a New Jersey newspaper publisher, North Jersey Medial Group, Inc., after posting an infamous September 11th photograph on Facebook. The image is one of three New York City firefighters hoisting an American Flag over a pile of rubble on one of the most memorable days in recent United States history. According to the lawsuit Palin’s goal in using the photo was as a self- endorsement to raise funds for SaraPac. The lawsuit, which charges Palin with copyright infringement, seeks an injunction and damages.
According to the United States Copyright Office, generally, “copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.” Both civil and criminal penalties may result from a copyright infringement conviction. Interestingly, the State of Georgia is no stranger to copyright infringement lawsuits. In fact, in a recent lawsuit of its own, the state argued that its annotated laws are protected by copyright statues and that reposting the laws online is illegal.
Copyright laws serve to protect original thoughts and work, but navigating them can be tricky. To find out more about how you can protect yourself from being the subject of copyright infringement or if you are the target of a copyright infringement lawsuit contact the attorneys at Simmons Law, where our clients’ problems are our problems.