the stack: The Seattle-based company, which owns and licenses a collection of over 80 million images, has been sued by documentary photographer Carol Highsmith for ‘gross misuse’, after it sold more than 18,000 of her photos despite having already donated them for public use. by Alice MacGregor
'Highsmith’s photos which were sold via Getty Images had been available for free via the Library of Congress. Getty has now been accused of selling unauthorised licenses of the images, not crediting the author, and for also sending threatening warnings and fines to those who had used the pictures without paying for the falsely imposed copyright.
'"The defendants have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people," reads the claim. "[Getty] is not only unlawfully charging licensing fees…but is falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner."'