Photographer Carol Highsmith began donating her works to the Library of Congress in 1988, and continues to do so. She also posts images on the website of her non-profit photography foundation This is America! But Highsmith received a copyright infringement notice and a bill for $120 from License Compliance Service for hosting an image she herself took.
Highsmith then had a 27-minute phone call with LCS, where she explained that she was the author and that she found it baffling that she had to pay a license fee for a photograph that she not only took, but donated to the public.
Two days later, she got an e-mail from LCS, saying that it considered the matter “closed.” However, according to the suit, the photo in question remained on sale by LCS and Getty.
And it isn’t just Getty Images. Highsmith also found her images for sale at at the image licensing company Alamy, which was named in the notice she was sent from LCS, and Picscout, too. All are named as defendants in a one billion dollar lawsuit. The coming suit will be quite interesting, and will possibly uncover the photo licensing companies' methods for selling licenses to publish public domain images. In fact, it may be an important, precedent-setting case. Read more of the details at Ars Technica. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Carol M. Highsmith via the Library of Congress)