By Kyle Mendenhall
Lebron James is being sued for copyright infringement after posting a cropped photograph of himself on Facebook. The original photograph was taken by professional photographer Steve Mitchell, who has registered the photograph with the U.S. Copyright Office. In the lawsuit, Mitchell argues that James violated his copyright by posting the photograph without Mitchell’s consent. Although James is certainly the subject of the photograph, Mitchell owns the copyright and generally has the right to control licensing and distribution his work. This case will likely hinge on whether James’ posting of the cropped photograph constitutes “fair use” under copyright law.
Although a copy of Mitchell’s complaint is not yet publicly available, some analysis of the lawsuit is provided by Sports Illustrated.
An experienced copyright attorney can assist you with protecting and enforcing your own creative works, as well as guiding you through the web of issues surrounding fair use.