Vox Media Sued For Copyright Infringement Under DMCA

Helayne Seidman, a professional photographer, filed a complaint against Vox Media for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Seidman accuses Vox Media with the “unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph of luxury apartment building Gotham West on 45th Street in New York, owned and registered by Seidman.” Specifically, this image appeared on Vox Media’s owned and operated site, www.NY.Curbed.com.

Seidman photographed the apartment building and is the owner of the copyright registration for this image. She licensed the photograph to the New York Post for an article, which credited her for the photograph. Vox ran an article, which featured Seidman’s photograph; however, she claimed that Vox did not obtain her permission or consent to publish the photograph on its website. Seidman alleged that Vox Media infringed her copyright in the photograph. She said that Vox Media “is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, [publicly] display, distribute and/or use the Photograph.” She added that this infringement was willful, intentional and purposeful.

Seidman stated that she believed that Vox took the photograph from the New York Post article without obtaining permission or giving her credit for the photograph. Seidman also claims that Vox removed, falsified, and altered the copyright management information. As a result, she claims that Vox has violated copyright law.

Plaintiff has sought declaratory judgment of Vox Media’s infringement, an award for damages, an award for costs and fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief as determined by the court.

The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York. Seidman is represented by Liebowitz Law Firm.  Photographers have recently filed lawsuits against Sinclair and AOL for allegedly violating their copyrighted work.