Hi all,  I just posted a comment on Petapixel on their thread regarding the recent $900,000 award won by a company named “Stepables”. I thought my comment might be of interest to you folks reading our blog. You can read about the case here on Petapixels and here on PDN.

Below are my comments that go to an issue beyond the judgement and within my post, you will see why Ed can’t comment:


This case is just the visible tip of the iceberg and is a rare example of the public seeing the results of a copyright infringement claim.  Statistically approximately 95% of all copyright infringement cases are settled or disposed of without trial. Nearly all settlements are confidential. The result in this case is rare ONLY inasmuch as it has been made public by virtue of the jury award.

My writing partner, attorney Ed Greenberg would add more, but he can’t discuss his involvement with this matter as it was tried by his very capable local Maryland counsel Jan Berlage, Esq. with some input from Ed. Mr. Berlage also represented Ed’s client Andrew Paul Leonard, who got a judgment of $1.6 million, plus over $400,000 in interest, in another actual damages only case.

This defendant risked going to trial and lost. Most infringers who have no valid defense, when properly pursued, settle rather than be subjected to a jury award, legal fees and bad publicity.

Don’t be fooled by the recent heavy-handed campaign to have you think that suing for infringement cases is beyond the average photographer’s means. Some trade associations and some individuals were using exaggerated, ballooned costs in an effort to have the community push for a small claims path for going after infringers. While a small claims path, if structured well, in our opinion is a very good thing, the push to get people scared about pursuing copyright infringement cases, was just wrong and counter-productive. While cases with those numbers do exist, a majority of infringement cases are well within the average photographer’s means.

Most cases are settled to the satisfaction of the plaintiff (that be you) and very few are made public like this one. The only way to understand if you have a case worth pursuing is by consulting with a local, photography experience IP attorney.

Jack Reznicki