A photographer is seeking compensation in a court of law after alleging that the cannabis website Leafly used his photos of rappers Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Leafly, which provides consumer product reviews and the location of dispensaries, has been sued by T. Eric Monroe after the photographer claimed the website unlawfully published and displayed his photography.
According to Green Market Report, the alleged infringement was on an article about blunts — hollowed-out cigars that contain marijuana.
Leafly’s post featured a side-by-side portrait of Tupac and Snoop Dogg that contained a caption explaining that it was Tupac who taught Snoop how to make blunts. The Drop It Like It’s Hot rapper went on to smoke 10 blunts per day.
However, according to court documents, Monroe was not credited on the photos of Tupac and Snoop Dogg. The photographer says that he is the sole owner of the photos and maintains exclusive rights to them. Furthermore, he has registered the works with the United States Copyright Office and says that he did not authorize Leafly to use his photos.
“Monroe has not in any way authorized defendants … to copy, reproduce, duplicate, disseminate, distribute, or create derivative works of the subject photography”, the lawsuit says.
Monroe claims that Leafly “knowingly induced, participated in, aided and abetted in and profited from the illegal reproduction and distribution of the Subject Photography.” He also says that he contacted the weed website in January and it did not respond.
The photographer has asked the court to determine the damages owed to him as well as asking for his legal expenses to be paid by Leafly.
Monroe chose to file the case in New York despite living in New Jersey and Leafly being located in Washington state.
The photographer’s work has been featured in Thrasher and XXL magazine and hip hop legends from the 1990s have passed through his lens including Nas, Big L, and The Fugees.
Image credits: Monroe v. Leafly Holdings, Inc. et al