A Tucson photographer recently found out the hard way that the public doesn’t always side with photographers in copyright infringement cases, even if their claims are valid. About a month after the tragic 2011 Tucson shooting, portrait photographer Jon Wolf threatened so sue nearly three dozen media outlets after they showed a portrait he made of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green — the youngest victim — and demanded $125,000 from one newspaper for publishing the image.
It soon came to light that Wolf rushed to register the photograph with the US Copyright office the first business day after the shooting, and approached the Green family that same day requesting that they sign a release to give him permission to license the image rights to the media.
Needless to say, there was soon a public outcry against Wolf’s actions. A Facebook group named “Boycott Jon Wolf Photography for suing over Christina Green’s photo” was created, and gained over 1,000 supporters, and people began leaving harsh 1-star ratings for Wolf’s photography services on Yelp. Finally, the Green family also issued a public rebuke, stating
Jon Wolf, as we have painfully learned, showed poor taste in his choice to litigate over the usage of his photograph of our little girl Christina-Taylor Green. Our intent was not to allow others to profit from the Jon Wolf image but to allow the media to portray our daughter in the best light possible and to tell her story. It is unfortunate that he has chosen to litigate over the use of his photograph at this time, or at all, in light of the fact that our family is still mourning and grieving the loss of our daughter. [#]
Wolf soon announced that he would be giving up his efforts to sue.
(via PDN Pulse)
Image credits: Images by KGUN9