Photographer Matilde Gattoni has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged copyright infringement. According to the lawsuit, Microsoft used Gattoni’s photos in an article on MSN. However, she claims that the company didn’t license the photos, nor they had her permission to use them.
Law Street Media published the court documents, containing the lawsuit and the exhibits. The article in question was published on 24 January 2020 on MSN and it’s titled These are the women leading China’s wine revolution. Interestingly enough, it’s still online. The article uses Gattoni’s photos for illustration (along with credits), but the photographer claims that Microsoft never had the permission to use them.
According to Law Street Media, Microsoft did license some of Gattoni’s photos before, but not for this particular article. The lawsuit reads that “Microsoft is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publically display, distribute and/or use the Photographs.” Gattoni’s images were registered with US Copyright Office, and her lawsuit claims that Microsoft’s alleged copyright infringement was “willful, intentional, and purposeful, in disregard of and indifference” to her rights.
Gattoni seeks damages for Copyright infringement, and there are two options. First, she can receive “actual damages and Defendant’s profits, gains or advantages of any kind” that resulted from using her photos. Another option is receiving “statutory damages of up to $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed.” Finally, if she wins, Microsoft shall pay all expenses and attorneys’ fees.