On Thursday, Prepared Food Photos, Inc. filed a complaint against Heritage IGA Tiffin, LLC in the Southern District of Florida alleging copyright infringement.
According to the complaint, Prepared Food Photos is a Florida corporation located in Palm Beach County, Florida which was formerly known as Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc. The complaint states the defendant is an Ohio corporation that owns and operates a grocery store in Tiffin, Ohio.
Prepared Food Photos states that it is in the business of licensing high-end, professional photographs to grocery stores, restaurant chains, food service companies and other members of the food industry through its website. The plaintiff alleges that it owns all of the photographs available on its website and offers a standard, limited, non-transferable license for all of its photographs.
The plaintiffs argue that its business model and the ability to maintain its extensive portfolio relies on its recurring subscription service where food industry clients pay a monthly fee of $999.00 to gain access to its library of professional photographs. Therefore, the plaintiff purports that it does not license individual photographs or make them otherwise available for purchase. The plaintiff argues that its license terms make it clear that all copyright ownership remains with the plaintiff and clients are not permitted to transfer, assign or sub-license any of the licensed photographs.
Prepared Food Photos alleges on multiple dates, Heritage AIG published one of its copyright registered works titled “HamCheeseSandwichHR0309.jpg” on the defendant’s website, Facebook page and in advertisements for its weekly grocery specials. Further, the plaintiff alleges that Heritage AIG has never contacted the plaintiff about licensing the work or received a license or permission to use the copyrighted work.
The plaintiff argues that this commercial use of its copyrighted work violates its rights under United States copyright laws. The plaintiff purports that when it became aware of the defendant’s infringement, it notified the defendant of its unauthorized use, but has been unable to negotiate a reasonable license for the past infringement.
The plaintiff is seeking an award of declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, actual damages, disgorgement of profits, up to $150,000 in statutory damages for willful infringement on each infringement and attorneys fees and interest for copyright infringement. The plaintiff is represented by Copycat Legal PLLC.