Buckle up, because this is a copyright battle that has hit rock bottom and started digging with gusto. How much gusto? Lets just say that the he-said-she-said nature of this ferocious back-and-forth between a photographer and a magazine that used her photo without permission makes the whole Color Run debacle look tame.
The story begins with unauthorized use of a photo, a polite (but ignored) copyright complaint, a takedown notice, and a reply email in which the offender called the photographer an a**hole and said they would be suing.
Kathy Shea Mormino is the owner of the popular backyard chicken site The Chicken Chick and the photographer behind a photo that she recently found on Survival Magazine’s Facebook page and blog. Oh, and she’s also an attorney.
The photo had been used without permission and had, according to Mormino, even had her watermark removed. All of this smells of willful copyright infringement but Mormino decided to give the magazine the benefit of the doubt and, instead of filing a takedown notice immediately, politely asked that the magazine take the photo down.