Copyright laws matter, Breitbart.
Breitbart News Network has been hit with a lawsuit over the use of a Black Lives Matter protest photo, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.
In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, photographer Terray Sylvester claims that the news outlet ripped off his photo.
According to the suit, Sylvester is “a print reporter and freelance photojournalist with nine years experience. Plaintiff’s clients include Reuters, The San Francisco Chronicle, New Yorker Online, Outside Online, VICE Magazine, Orion Magazine and others.”
Readers will note that Sylvester’s list does not include Breitbart.com, but according to his suit the website lifted a picture he took while covering a Nov. 5, 201s student rally in Berkeley, California, and using it “to accompany a number of articles on various topics.” The lawsuit alleges that the photo was used on more than a dozen occasions by the site, without Sylvester’s permission.
“Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendant, without the permission or consent of Plaintiff, has copied and used the Copyrighted Photograph,” the lawsuit reads. “In doing so, Defendant violated Plaintiff’s exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution. Defendant’s actions constitute infringement of Plaintiff’s copyright and exclusive rights under copyright.”
An exhibit attached to the lawsuit indicates that the photo portrays a group of people, one of whom is holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign.
A description of the photo posted by Sylvester to social media said that the photo depicted “#Berkeley HS students rallying today over racist post.”
The suit is seeking an order preventing Breitbart from infringing on Sylvester’s copyright, as well as unspecified damages.
TheWrap has reached out to Breitbart for comment.