Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lloyd Shugart Awarded $1.3 Million For Copyright Infringement

Lloyd Shugart is a professional photographer who had been hired by Propet USA, Inc. to photograph Propet's shoes for its marketing materials. Mr. Shugart limited the use of his photographs to two years in his terms of use. When Mr. Shugart noticed that Propet had continued to use certain of his images outside of their two year license, he pointed it out to Propet.
Rather than do the right thing and renew its license, Propet filed suit against Mr. Shugart for a declaration that it owned the photographs and not him. Mr. Shugart sought the assistance of the Mann Law Group and the Whitaker Law Group to guide him through his legal troubles.
After a three day jury trial, not only had the Mann Law Group and the Whitaker Law Group successfully defended against Propet's baseless attempt to steal Mr. Shugart's photographs, the jury awarded him $1.3 million in damages for Propet's disregard of the law.
This case illustrates the importance of getting your photographs (or other works) registered with the Copyright Office in a timely manner. Having his images registered allowed Mr. Shugart to increase his damage award by nearly $500,000.