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Disgruntled Freelance Photographer Sues LA Times

Earlier this week, TheWrap’s Brent Lang had an item that was a bit of a stretch. Using vague, unattributed sources, he insinuated that LA Times columnist Tim Rutten might have been recently laid off because of mistakes made on the job (a charge Rutten gently denied).

This time around on the LA Times beat, Lang is on much more solid exclusive footing. He has the skinny on an ugly bit of litigation filed against the newspaper in May by entertainment biz photographer David Strick, who freelanced for the paper up until 2010 and now works with the Hollywood Reporter. The artist is not buying the LA Times argument that he surrendered ownership of his work by uploading it to the company’s content management system (CMS):

Strick does not set a figure for the damages he believes he’s owed, but he alleges that the Tribune Company and its television stations and various papers have published at least 174 of his photos illegally. He cites at least 510 violations of his copyrights.

Ed Greenberg, an attorney for the photographer, told TheWrap that each infringement could come with an award for as much as $150,000.

It’s unlikely that Strick will get anywhere near $26.1 million in damages (174 X $150,000) if this thing goes his way. Still, for the PR folks at the LA Times, a miserable summer continues.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Tim Rutten Interviews Rile LA Times

[Party-of-the-first-part pic used with permission, courtesy DavidStrick.com]

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