Michael Moore In Legal Trouble With War Photographer

From Huffington Post

Michal Moore is about to be sued by a celebrated war photographer over his online use of an image.

Independent correspondent Michael Yon took a photo, voted by Time readers the top photo of 2005, of a soldier cradling a bloody, injured Iraqi girl who died shortly thereafter. Moore used the photo without permission on his website michaelmoore.com.

The NY Post reports:

Yon has tried to contact Moore for seven months to discuss his unauthorized use of the poignant snap, but hasn’t heard a word back from the director of “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Now, the fed-up photojournalist has told his lawyer to ready a lawsuit against Moore for copyright infringement.

The misappropriated photo shows US Army Maj. Mark Bieger cradling an Iraqi girl wounded by car-bomb shrapnel. She died a short time later.

“The implication on Moore’s Web site was that our soldiers were somehow responsible for that kid being wounded,” Yon’s lawyer, John Mason, told Page Six. “That is absolutely not true. She was the victim of an insurgent’s car bomb.” Yon said: “I’ve never sued anyone in my life. It looks like Mr. Moore might be the first.” Page Six e-mailed Moore for his response, but he didn’t get back to us, either.

On his website Yon blogged about it and asked for help funding his fight:

If Mr. Moore and his counsel continue to ignore our correspondence, we will proceed with a lawsuit. This lawsuit, though, should not be a distraction from combat reporting; the proceedings should be easy and require almost zero hands-on work from me. But it will be potentially costly. I’ve never sued anyone in my life. Looks like Mr. Moore might be the first. I told one very important person recently about the possible upcoming lawsuit and he said something like, “Someone should drive a stake through that guy’s heart.” It won’t be that bad, but copyright cases are interesting and we have to deal with them often. If you want to help me as I both prepare to return overseas and take on this lawsuit with Mr. Michael Moore, please hit the PayPal button.

See the photo here

One thought on “Michael Moore In Legal Trouble With War Photographer”

  1. I like and respect Michael Moore, but I believe that he is wrong on this one. A photograph is the intellectual property of the photographer, and to use it without permission is inappropriate. With the advent of the web, it is not uncommon to find people using posted photos of others, sometimes yoiked without permission. But at the very least, if the photographer contacts you (as apparently happened here 7 months ago) and tells you not to use the image, you need to accept that, respond to the photographers wishes, and take the photo down.


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