May 10, 2012
By now you’re probably read about this in the news:
Meagan Kunert did quite a number on professional photography recently. With big news on how easily one can impersonate other photographers (by simply taking the images off of others and putting them in her own website) as well as words from the blog posts of others, there’s yet another worry to add to the list of the unsuspecting client: the impersonator.
Up to now, I’d only been aware of photographers venturing out to important events unarmed with knowledge, yet full of confidence from websites and seminars inspiring inexperienced photographers to jump into shooting professionally. So not only are photographers claiming to be what they’re not – they’re claiming to be who they’re not.
I’d like to inform everybody how serious this can be. Nine years ago, I sued a photographer because she used the name of my company and one of my images on the internet, took my studio name and used it on a website. Because copyright and trademark infringement are federally policed, my lawsuit wound up in Federal Court. A jury of nine took about a week to award me $240,000 in damages.
You can see for yourself by googling, “teresa halton gary fong trial” and then scrolling to the link that says, ‘FEDERAL JURY TRIAL’.
On the day of the order, I got a check for the full amount because she was insured by her business policy. I wonder if Meagan Kunert has insurance? Because the people who were damaged by her actions could form a multi-plaintiff lawsuit and sue her in federal court. I’m not a lawyer, but my opinion is I’m certain they would win, and win big.
I think it should happen – because my situation was a huge warning to others who thought this might be a good idea, and nobody did it for years – until it was too old news. At least call a lawyer.
Mine took my case on contingency, because he was certain we would win.