Why is an Oscar winner suing over this $100,000 photograph?

« Read the full Prop. 8 decision | Main | Guys gone wild? Companies are exposed as allegations of bad behavior make headlines »

Why is an Oscar winner suing over this $100,000 photograph?

Wed Aug 04, 2010 @ 04:37PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Louie-psihoyos-right-accepted-the-oscar-for-the-cove-on-sunday-with-ric-obarry-center-and-fisher-stevensEXCLUSIVE: Louie Psihoyos won the best documentary Oscar this year for directing "The Cove," an expose about the thousands of dolphins killed each year off the coast of Japan (bizarre acceptance speech spectacle on the right). In making the film, Psihoyos fought with the Japanese government, which refused to give him permission to shoot footage and was less than cooperative throughout the filmmaking process.

One would think that Psihoyos has a healthy respect for media freedoms, but Psihoyos has a litigious streak in him.

He's now suing CBS and BBC for using a photograph he took in 1994 for National Geographic without permission. According to a complaint filed in New York District Court on Monday, Psihoyos says the following photograph took him more than a month and $100,000 to create.

01 500 tvs-1 

Since the photo was taken more than 15 years ago, he says it has been licensed "thousands of times" to Microsoft, IBM, Lucent, Sony, Time magazine, textbooks, pamphlets and Apple. The latter company apparently agreed to license the image after being sued by Psihoyos over an iPhone app.

Psihoyos takes exception with an article that appeared on the BBC news website last September entitled "Future is TV-shaped, says Intel." The article was accompanied by the famed photograph.

As for CBS' alleged misuse of the photo, Psihoyos says that CBS Marketing appropriated it for commercial display at the 2009 Intel Developers Forum.

Psihoyos is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why is an Oscar winner suing over this $100,000 photograph?:

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.