Renee is an established professional live concert photographer who derives her living from licensing her concert photographs for use in magazines, newspapers, posters and other items for sale. It takes many years to build a career as a professional concert photographer and requires establishing trust with an intricate network of contacts in the music industry in order to be allowed on stage and backstage with celebrities to create unique, valuable photographs.
Renee posted a series of time-sensitive concert photographs on her website indicating that they were available for licensing and to contact her for pricing. A company lifted Renee’s photographs directly from her website, removed her watermark and copyright notice and began illegally selling them for pro t without authorization from, nor payment to Renee.
The infringing party did not respond to Renee’s repeated written and verbal demands for payment and to stop selling / using her images going forward. Instead, the infringers continued to illegally pro t from re-selling Renee’s images for promotion, advertising and magazine articles as well as products for sale.
Renee looked into suing the infringer in Federal Court as the law provides, but found that it was too costly for her to pursue in that venue. She strongly feels that a small claims option would help her protect her copyright and livelihood while punishing the people and companies that illegally profit from her hard work.
This blog tells the story of countless U.S. creators, who currently have rights but no remedies when it comes to protecting their works. With federal court being both complex and expensive, most creators don’t have the means to defend their creations from a legal perspective. That’s why they need the CASE Act, legislation that calls for the establishment of a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office. Learn more here about the CASE Act, and how it would benefit creators across the country!
We urge you to contact your congressman/woman, and tell them why this bill is so important. Your support will give small creators the tools to protect their work.
Photo credit: bernardbodo/iStock/Thinkstock