When it rains...

September 11, 2009  •  Leave a Comment

… it pours.

Just ask Annie Liebovitz. Arguably one of the most recognized photographers of our time, a non-name Paolo Pizzetti decided Liebovitz’ wounds deserved some seasoning. Salt, to be precise.

As the BBC reports, Pizzetti (mmm… pizza) is suing Liebovitz for an unauthorized use of photographs at a total of ~$300,000 USD. Thanks to Al Gore’s internet (or if you’re Bush 43 the “internets”), unauthorized use of a photo is an all too frequent occurrence. I’ve had it happen (it was quite flattering, but at the same time quite irritating) as have countless other photographers who have put their works online.

What’s new here is that Pizzetti was hired by Liebovitz to take photos of a location. Liebovitz then, Pizzetti alleges, used some of the scouting photos to create composite images without his permission. If that’s true, I’m hurt.

I would like to think that some lowly staffer screwed up, but I just can’t imagine that Liebovitz lets anything out of her studio without approving it. What will be interesting, if this goes to court, is to see how this shakes out. Could we find out that the contract Pizzetti signed gave Liebovitz usage rights?  Maybe the courts will side with Liebovitz and say since Pizzetti was hired to shoot the photos for Liebovitz, she can use them how she pleases (shudder).

Whatever happens, no matter how you look at the issues, Liebovitz work on the original photos totally kicked the originals (Pizzetti’s) ass!


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