Sunday, December 27, 2009

Village Voice and Phoenix New Times step on my rights. . . .

I took a now locally famous(some may say infamous) photograph during an illegal immigration march outside of Sheriff Arpaio’s Tent City on May 2, 2009. This image has appeared in hundreds of thousands of copies of the Phoenix New Times(at least three editions), Youtube videos and on various blogs. Not one of these media outlets bothered to ask my permission or give me credit for my work. I have since acquired copyright protection of this and other images through the U.S. Copyright Office.

The most recent unauthorized user of my image is Michael Lacey of the Village Voice/Phoenix New Times.

The Pink Negro: As an Ivy League Lawyer, is President Barack Obama Hard Enough to Confront the Evil Personified by Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

By Michael Lacey
Published on December 08, 2009 at 4:13pm

Here, in Phoenix, Arizona, we enjoy little peace; indeed, we live in the chaos generated by a reign of terror that Obama has done little to address.

Yes, his federal investigators are here examining the assaults against human rights perpetrated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

I sent Michael Lacey a notice informing him that there is a copyright violation.


I have some bad news for you. An image in your article happens to be protected under U.S. Copyright. You used it without my permission.

I also noticed that it turned up in print in the Phoenix New Times December 10-16 Volume 40 Page 26

In the past, I was rather generous as far as the use of my photographs were concerned. I might have been willing to let this issue slide if I were given credit for it.

I am going to have to ask you to take this image down.

I have registered this image with the U.S. Copyright Office. Thomas Coletto, a known criminal and creator of the Photobucket account in question, had without my permission, taken this image and posted it online with the intent of using it in a negative context. I can send you a copy of my copyright certificate from the U.S. Copyright Office if needed. Photobucket has removed the image from Coletto's account.

My response from Photobucket:

Dear Harry Hughes,

Thank you for your request. Photobucket removed the content located at the following link(s):

which request was based on your stated belief that such content infringes your copyrights. As you may be aware, Photobucket does not itself distribute, store, or make available most of the content or files available through its service. Rather, most all such files or content are put forth by individual users, and Photobucket has limited control over the content its users may choose to share. Nevertheless, Photobucket respects copyright laws and expects its users to do the same.

Please be advised that Photobucket has removed the above-mentioned content from its website.
Photobucket's response as set forth herein is a good-faith attempt to courteously comply with your request at face value. It should not be taken as an admission or acknowledgment, of any kind, and Photobucket expressly reserves all rights at law or in equity.

Should you have any questions about this matter, please contact Photobucket's Designated Copyright Agent:

Daniel J. Cooper
Designated Copyright Agent, Inc.
PO Box #13003
Denver, CO 80201
Fax: 303.395.1165


Your Photobucket Support Team
From the U. S. Copyright Office:

The following files were successfully uploaded for service request 1-246439301File Name :IMG_0065.JPGFile Size :115 KB

On Fri, 9/18/09, Copyright Office <> wrote:
From: Copyright Office <>
Subject: Acknowledgement of Receipt
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009, 12:42 PM
Thank you for submitting your registration claim using the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) System. This email confirms that your application and fee for the work "The Photo" was received on 09/18/2009. The following applies to registration claims only (not preregistrations):
The effective date of registration is established when the application, fee AND the material being registered have been received. If you have not yet sent the material to be registered, logon to eCO and click the blue case number associated with your claim in the Open Cases table, then do one of the following:
For digital uploads: Click the Upload Deposit button at the top of the Case Summary screen, then browse and select the file(s) you wish to upload. Note: only certain classes of works may be registered with digital deposits (See FAQs:
For hardcopy submissions: Click the Send by Mail button at the top of the Case Summary screen, then click the Shipping Slip link that appears in the Attachments table. Print out and attach the shipping slip to the copy(ies) of your work. For multiple works, be sure to generate and attach separate shipping slips for each work. You will be issued a paper certificate by mail after the registration has been completed. You may check the status of this claim via eCO using this number [1-246439301].
United States Copyright Office

My “legal” Statement:

I hereby state that I have a good faith belief that the disputed use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law (e.g., fair use)

I hereby state that the information in this Notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner or I am authorized to act under an exclusive right of the copyright that is allegedly infringed.

Harry L. Hughes III

NPPA (National Press Photographers' Association) member #258144
It will be quite interesting to see what Mr. Lacey has to say to my request to take down MY image. I will update this story as more details become available.

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