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Landmark $6.3 Million Verdict in Photography Copyright Case: Upholding Creators' Rights

Landmark $6.3 Million Verdict in Photography Copyright Case: Upholding Creators' Rights


One LLP secures a historic $6.3 million jury verdict for photographer Scott Hargis against Pacifica

One LLP, a legal powerhouse specializing in intellectual property and entertainment law based in California, achieved a significant legal triumph in a copyright infringement case. The groundbreaking $6.3 million jury verdict was obtained on behalf of renowned architectural photographer Scott Hargis against Pacifica Senior Living Management LLC. The case marks the largest-ever statutory damages verdict for photography infringement in the history of the United States.

The jury's decision extends beyond a victory for Hargis; it underscores the critical significance for all creatives. Lead attorney John Tehranian emphasized the broader societal importance of this ruling in reinforcing the seriousness with which the law addresses willful copyright violations. He highlighted the necessity for responsible business practices, particularly in the digital era, urging photographers to safeguard their creative works through registration and vigilant tracking to establish a robust legal foundation against infringement.

The legal team at One LLP, comprising John Tehranian, Taylor Foss, Leo Lichtman, and Chris Skinner, played pivotal roles in securing this groundbreaking verdict. Collaboration with ImageRights International, Inc., a premier copyright licensing compliance service, strengthened the case. Joe Naylor, ImageRights' Co-Founder and CEO, emphasized the prevalent issue of unauthorized photo usage, applauding One LLP's relentless efforts in obtaining justice and compensation for Hargis while vowing to continue fighting against infringers.

The case revolved around Pacifica Senior Living's unauthorized use of 42 of Hargis's images in marketing its senior living communities without consent or license. Despite prior attempts to settle and notices of infringement, Pacifica persisted in using Hargis's work even after the lawsuit was filed, displaying a disregard for copyright laws despite their legal knowledge and counsel.

The jury categorized all 42 infringements as willful, leading to the assessment of the maximum statutory damages permissible by law: $150,000 per image, culminating in the groundbreaking $6.3 million verdict against Pacifica. This landmark ruling reinforces the significance of protecting creators' rights and sets a precedent for upholding the integrity of intellectual property in the digital landscape.