St. Louis couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey sued a United Press International photographer for the infamous photo that has been shared online millions of times. The couple says that the UPI photographer, Bill Greenblatt, trespassed into their Central West End property to take the photo. They add that the photo has contributed to significant national recognition, infamy, and suffering.
The McCloskeys are also suing a San Francisco-based on-demand publishing house, Redbubble Inc., for creating artwork based on their images and likenesses. The couple accuses the three entities, Greenblatt, UPI, and Redbubble, of profiting from the licensing and sale of printed items using their likeness without permission.
The printed items, which include t-shirts, masks, mugs, among others, often carry “mocking and pejorative taglines or captions.” The couple indicates that the actions of the defendants caused them untold “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress.”
Mark and Patricia were subjects of various memes and online bashing after the photo was published shared on the Internet.
The lawsuit adds that the couple has also received death threats, while additional protesters have invaded their property.
“Defendants acted outrageously and beyond all reasonable bounds of decency, with their conduct regarded as atrocious and intolerable by any member of a civilized society,” the lawsuit adds.
The McCloskeys want the court to prohibit the use of the image[s] and award them damages for the emotional suffering caused by the use of the unauthorized picture. They also seek to regain ownership rights of the photo alongside others taken within their property. Is that too much to ask?
However, the leftist media had already described them as “litigious” for defending their rights and those of others. The personal injury defense attorneys have helped many people get justice after sustaining injuries at the workplace.
Shockingly, UPI planned to issue the couple with a "cease and desist" order for using the iconic photograph on their personal greeting card. Greenblatt sent the couple a letter asking them to pay for the rights to use the photo.
UPI actions show that the media can bully law-abiding citizens with impunity to the point of preventing them from using personal images taken inside their property.
Photographers have the right to take pictures in public places without necessarily asking for consent. However, the couple was standing deep inside their property.
Nine protesters were issued with citations for trespassing into the couple's property. Given the distance between the McCloskeys and the protesters, it’s evident that they were well within their property.
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