Originally posted 2012-06-21 10:41:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Manhattan view, June 2011 - 12Dead horse?  You’d think so.  Copyright statutory damages, that is.  We’ve been there, and done that, right?

Not according to Larry Zerner, who says the calls are still coming in:

Because my firm will sometimes handle copyright infringement cases on a contingency fee basis, I often get phone calls that go something like this.

Caller: I would like to sue someone for copyright infringement.

Me: Okay.  What did they do?

Caller: They took a picture of mine and put it on their website.

Me: Are you a professional photographer?

Caller: No.  But I registered the photograph with the Copyright Office. So now they owe me $150,000.  Right? . . . Right?

This seems to be where the confusion comes in.

Well, see, that just means people aren’t reading the right blogs before picking up the phone!  More:

[M]any people assume that I will jump at the chance to represent them on a contingency fee basis, because I will certainly be able to get a jury to award damages of $150,000 The problem is that they are not looking at the case realistically.  Reader, ask yourself this question. If you were on a jury and had to decide statutory damages on a case where the sole infringement was that a photograph was put up on a website, are you going to give that photographer $150,000.  Probably not.

He’s right, of course.  Except when he’s wrong.  But, no, he’s right.

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

4 thoughts on “Money for nothing”
  1. Thank God there’s at least some common sense on this subject. Accidental infringement like posting a photo on a website where there are no real damages should not be a case at all. Rather it should be a demand to cease and desist, which, if ignored could then be escalated. Anything else is pure copyright trolling and the plaintiffs and lawyer who practice this ghastly action should be jailed.

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