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New York Photographer Sues over Benedict Cumberbatch Photo

North Carolina Sees an Increase in Copyright Lawsuits with the Latest Filing by NY Photographer

A New York photographer is suing a Wake Forest-based company for copyright infringement. Photographer Steve Sands is represented by Sanders Law Group, which filed the federal lawsuit on August 8, 2019, in the Eastern District of North Carolina. According to the Triangle Business Journal (the Journal), the case is against Epicstream, a company that describes itself as “an independent news and entertainment website celebrating the fantasy and science fiction genres.”

In the lawsuit, the Triangle Business Journal reports, Sands claims that Epicstream used a photograph he took of Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of the film “Dr. Strange,” and did so with no license or permission. Sands states that he registered his copyright to the photo in question with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Epicstream allegedly featured the copyrighted photograph with an article it posted about Cumberbatch. The complaint itself states, “Epicstream did not license the Photograph from the Plaintiff… nor did Epicstream have Plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the Photograph on the Website.”

One of Several North Carolina Cases

According to the Journal, the lawsuit filed by Sands and his attorney is just one of several recent copyright matters that have been in the local North Carolina news. Artists across the state are seeking to enforce ownership rights to their work. A few cases are pending in North Carolina that involve photographers claiming businesses are using copyrighted images with no compensation, permission, or licensing arrangements.

How Do Businesses Violate Copyright Law in North Carolina and Across the Globe?

Copyright violations occur daily in the United States and around the world. Artists, authors, photographers, and graphic designers are subject to purposeful and accidental acts that compromise their ownership rights in the work they create.

Consider some of the following ways businesses violate the copyrights of photographers and other creative individuals:

  • An advertising company uses a copyrighted image on a billboard to promote the products of a large corporation. The company does not ask you for permission or compensate you in any way.
  • A music festival creates flyers and posters to promote its event using an image you took, with no permission, agreement, or payment.
  • A marketing company prints a photo taken by you on dozens of items and sells them for a nice profit. The company knows you own the rights to the picture but does not pay for a license to use it or provide you with any compensation.
  • A celebrity uses a picture you took of her and uses it on Instagram to promote her global brand
  • A movie company showcases a photograph you took in many scenes in its film without permission or payment from you.
  • A business uses your pictures beyond the scope of a license agreement
  • A company does not pay you according to the terms of a license agreement

Contact Us

At the Sanders Law Group US Copyright Attorneys, we see every way in which photographers suffer when others violate their rights. If you are a photographer, you deserve compensation for your hard work. You also deserve compensation when someone infringes upon your copyright willfully or unintentionally.

Call the Sanders Law Group if you need help enforcing your copyright. We can help ensure that you and your work receive the maximum protection the law allows and that you collect damages to which you are entitled. Call our global copyright lawyer today for a free case evaluation at 888-348-3090.


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