Photographer John Curtis Rice has filed a lawsuit against Cointelegraph, a popular cryptocurrency news website, for allegedly using a copyrighted photograph of Charlie Shrem, Founder of Bitcoin Foundation. Stephen Palley, a well-known lawyer in the cryptospace, was the first to break the news on social media and tweeted,
New federal court lawsuit alleges Cointelegraph Media USA violated US copyright law by publishing copyrighted photograph of Charlie Shrem. pic.twitter.com/DTI8R8xMxK
— Palley (@stephendpalley) June 18, 2019
According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the website published an op-ed on March 11, 2015, detailing the “six most vicious criminals in Bitcoin,” which included the likes of Ross Ulbricht, Pascal Reid, Charlie Shrem and others. The article also featured photos of these alleged criminals, including Charlie Shrem, without crediting the source for the same.
The New York-based photographer, John Curtis Rice’s complaint was with respect to the permissionless reproduction and/or display of a copyrighted photo. Rice claims he did not provide Coin Telegraph any license or consent to reproduce the photo taken by him. Further, the owner of the photograph seeks monetary relief under the Copyright Act of the United States, as amended, 17 U.S.C. 101.
The case is presently before the U.S District Court of the Southern District of New York. The case’s documents, enclosed in “Docket No. 1:19-cv-5648,” also stated,
“CoinTelegraph did not license the photograph from the Plaintiff for its article, nor did CoinTelegraph have the plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the photograph on its website.”
It would seem however Charlie Shrem, a pioneer of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space, was himself in the dark about any such lawsuit against the popular crypto website. He tweeted,
Da fuq. https://t.co/ETYe93Ow2Q
— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem) June 18, 2019
Upon further research, it was found that the photographer, John Curtis Rice, had previously filed another copyright infringement lawsuit against the “NY Post” for using a copyrighted photograph of a missing teen, while not properly crediting the owner of the photograph.
Another Twitter user, @jratcliff, tweeted,
“You think that it something? I just copyrighted this tweet! All retweets will result in legal action!!”
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