Before 2017

National Photo Group Brings Copyright Suit to Protect Interests in Photos, Including Those that Contributed to Ending the Marriage of Jason Aldean and Jessica Ussery.

The complaint alleges that L&L Broadcasting, LLC (L&L), is displaying photos on its website for which National Photo Group (NPG) holds issued or pending copyrights.  NPG accuses L&L of attracting more viewers by use of the infringing photos and profiting from advertising sold to third parties.

NGP identifies its Copyright Application 1-830916271 relating to a photo of Jason Aldean getting “cozy” with Brittany Kerr, which was taken in California on September 26, 2012.  A copy of the photo obtained on the Internet appears below:

The photo was one of several which led to a “photo scandal” that ultimately contributed to Jason Aldean’s divorce.  http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20637709,00.html and http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20695461,00.html. 

NPG claims the rights to the photo and maintains that L&L did not license the photo but nevertheless seeks to profit from its use.  NPG asserts three counts – one for willful copyright infringement, two for contributory copyright infringement (in case the L&L website is merely hyperlinking to the infringing photos), citing, e.g., Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 508 F.3d 1146, 1171 (9th Cir. 2007), and three for vicarious copyright infringement as L&L is alleged to have profited from the direct infringement of others without acting to stop or limit it, citing, e.g., Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 508 F.3d 1146, 1171 (9th Cir. 2007).  NPG also seeks a permanent injunction.

The case is National Photo Group, LLC, No. 4:13-cv-002157-WTM-GRS, filed 9/20/13 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, and has been assigned to U.S. District Judge William T. Moore, Jr.

The case parallels an earlier case:  National Photo Group, LLC v. Transworldnews, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-03095-TCB, filed 9/16/13 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, assigned to  U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.  (The Transworldnews case involves the same photograph but only one count of copyright infringement was alleged.)

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