Website Owner Ordered to Pay $3,000 in Copyright Infringement Case
The internet has a lot of cool content. Some people like the photos and text and often want them for themselves. But instead of going through the proper channels and requesting permission, they steal the work and use it as their own.
This is illegal and can result in fines and other penalties. This was the case for a website owner who stole a photo from a photographer and put it on their website. The company has been sued for copyright infringement.
The respondent to the lawsuit is Lavaca LLC, which is the USA distributor for CasuGrill, which is based in Denmark. The lawsuit claims that Lavaca used a photo of a family picnic without obtaining a license. The CasuGril website shows a picnic scene on the homepage, but it is unknown if that is the photo in question.
The copyright infringement was identified by an image monitoring platform working on behalf of the photographer. Lavaca was sent a letter informing them of the plagiarism. The company responded by demanding that the photographer prove that he owned the photo. The company also threatened to report the photographer’s attorney to the bar association as well as the local district attorney.
That was the last correspondence between the two parties. In July 2022, the photographer filed the case with the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), which accepted the case. However, it was difficult communicating with Lavaca. The company ignored repeated communications from the CCB. The board finally issued default notices earlier this year.
The photographer presented the board with a host of evidence for his claim. He was able to show that the infringing photo was still on the website. He also proved that he had made a significant amount of money licensing the photo.
Since there was no evidence contrary to the photographer’s claims, the CCB awarded the man $3,000 in damages in July 2023. The award is now enforceable in a court of law.
Lavaca went the wrong way in this case. The company refused to participate in the process, making it so that only the photographer’s side was heard. Lavac’s nonparticipation made matters worse for them, likely increasing the amount of damages. Plus, the infringement was ongoing, with the company refusing to give in and stop the plagiarism.
The CCB is fairly new. It became available to the public in June 2022, with the goal of providing an efficient and streamlined way to resolve copyright claims. The board allows for damages of up to $30,000.
Learn More About Copyright Infringement
You cannot simply copy work you see online. Text, photos, and other content taken from a website needs to be purchased or properly attributed to the correct source. Claiming it as your own can lead to legal issues.
Want to protect your work? See how Orlando trademark & copyright lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal can assist you. Our experienced team can give you informative advice on various intellectual property matters. Fill out the online form or call (407) 890-0023 to schedule a consultation with our office.