- Infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits.
- The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
- Infringer pays for all attorneys fees and court costs.
- The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
- The Court can impound the illegal works.
- The infringer can go to jail.
Recently, a photographer named Benjamin Ramalho (who operates a website called, “http://www.247protography.com” was caught posting the images of other photographers and representing them as samples of his work. To see the images on his site, and the original images from the real photographer’s websites, please click here.
For this, he apologized on his fanpage but the thread shows that he didn’t do it when asked, denied it, etc. This constitutes willful infringement and under U.S. Federal Statutes, this entitles the plaintiff to triple damages and attorney costs
I had a similar situation happen to me, where a photographer named Teresa Halton took my studio name and created a website of the same name. We sued her for Trademark and Copyright Infringement, and a federal jury awarded me $270,000, and we collected from her insurance company. If you google “Teresa Halton” you can see a copy of the jury verdict. I bought a ski chalet with the award, and then her attorney got sanction for $17,000, and with that I bought a sailboat.
The photographers who had their images stolen from Benjamin Ramalho could band together and file what is called a “joinder of parties” multiple plaintiff lawsuit where they all split the legal costs. Reportedly, he stole images from 37 photographers. So for example, if the retainer is $20,000 (which it wouldn’t be) each photographer would only have to put up about $500 and have the lawsuit heard.
The trick is getting the 37 people to exchange info and band together. I’m sure my attorney would take the case. Copyright infringement is very serious and shouldn’t just be forgotten. There are civil damages that you can collect on, and you should. My attorney, Edward R. Schwartz, of Christie Parker and Hale is my I.P. litigator. We are friends and we share an interest in enforcing IP rights.
Here is a list of the 37 Photographers. Please direct them to this post, I believe I can help.
1. Prestige Portraits
2. Connie Reggio Photography
3. Peter DeMott Photography
4. Matt Andrews Photography
5. Aslinn Kate Photography
6. Jamie Lee Photography
7. Halberg Photographers
8. Karma Hill Photographers
9. A Bryan Photo
10. Erica Clements Photography
11. Lynn Quinlivan Photography
12. AV Photography
13. Pink Paisley Photography
14. Melissa Hassey Photography
15. Orange Rose Photography
16. Sweet Things Photography
17. Lindsay Horn Photography
18. Michelle Janet Photography
19. Slinky Genius
20. Yellow House Photography
21. Elizabeth Scott Photography
22. Melissa Musgrove Photography
23. Red Bird Hills
24. Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography
25. Jennifer Kathryn Photography
26. Karlisch Photography
27. Genevieve Leiper Photography
28. Clary Photo
29. Hillary Maybery Photography
30. MQ Photography
31. Kylene and Ryan Studios
32. Grey Photography
33. Hazelnut Photography
34. Laurie Peacock Photography
35. Autumn Burke Photography
36. Souder Photography/Love is a Big Deal
37. Marvin Tsai