Volvo Sued for Copyright Infringement
When you think of copyright infringement, you may think of individuals or small companies trying to replicate the work of a large, popular corporation. However, sometimes large companies are the ones who are the problem. They often think they are invincible and can do whatever they want. This includes taking images created by others and using them without permission.
Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo is being sued for engaging in copyright infringement. Volvo is accused of stealing photos from a photographer. The photographer took photos of a female model with a Volvo S60. He then posted them on his Instagram, which caught the attention of Volvo.
Volvo was interested in the photos and asked if it could use them. The photographer presented Volvo with his terms and compensation guidelines. He never heard back.
Although the photographer’s request was ignored, his photos were not. He assumed Volvo was not interested, but the company used the photos anyway. The photographer was shocked to see his images used in a Volvo campaign for the S60—the same vehicle that was in his photos with the model.
The photographer complained to Volvo and filed a lawsuit, but instead of trying to work things out, the company sent an aggressive letter to the photographer’s production company. Volvo threatened to countersue over a 20-second video the photographer made featuring Volvo’s logo.
The model in the photos is also suing Volvo. She claims that Volvo’s use of the photos damaged her career. She was scheduled to appear in a photo shoot with another auto manufacturer. However, a clause in her contract prevents her from working with competitors. Since Volvo was a competitor, that opportunity no longer exists.
The photographer is suing for copyright infringement, misappropriation of likeness and unfair competition. The photographer and the model are seeking to keep Volvo from using the images. They are asking for actual and punitive damages of an unspecified amount.
In some cases, copyright infringement disputes are handled outside of court through mediation. Usually, the infringer will agree to pay the creator a certain amount of money to pay for lost profits and other damages. In many cases, though, the alleged infringer denies any wrongdoing and the case goes to court. This makes the process more lengthy and time-consuming.
Advances in digital technology and increased use of the Internet have made copyright infringement easier than ever. In some cases, it can be done anonymously. When the infringement is done on a large scale or involves counterfeiting, a person can face criminal charges and penalties such as restitution or jail time.
Learn More About Copyright Infringement
Whether you create products, write articles, take photos or write songs, make sure you protect your work with a copyright or trademark. Otherwise, your work could be used without your consent, preventing you from making money.
Orlando trademark & copyright lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal can protect your intellectual property and represent you if you feel your work is being misused. Schedule a consultation today. Call (407) 890-0023 or fill out the online form.