Photographer alleged that University displayed his photograph on its website without authorization and filed a claim in state court in which he plead, rather than copyright infringement, an unlawful taking under the Texas and United States Constitutions. The University responded with a plea to the jurisdiction, arguing that the photographer did not plead a viable takings claim, which the trial court denied after a hearing.
The University appealed that decision to the Texas First Court of Appeals, which vacated the trial court’s holding and dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. It held that while copyright is property, infringement by a state entity does not constitute a takings.
Photographer is currently seeking review by the Texas Supreme Court.
Status: Appeal filed to the Court of Appeals for the First Judicial District of Texas. (September 27, 2018) The District Court of Harris County, Texas denied the University’s Plea to the Jurisdiction. (May 30, 2018)