Big Fee Shift in Unsuccessful Copyright Lawsuit To Suppress Unflattering Photo–Katz v. Chevaldina

17 09 2015

This is the latest update in the long-running case involving a real estate mogul, Raanan Katz, who didn’t like a photo taken of him in public. Katz bought the copyright to the photo and then sued a blogger for republishing the photo in blog posts that criticized him. This attempted copyright end-run around free speech highlights a potentially exploitable gap in our legal system, and I’m planning to address it in an upcoming law review article. The problem is due mostly to copyright legal favoritism, which gives numerous procedural and substantive benefits to copyright holders compared to holders of other legal rights (see, e.g., the 512(c) notice-and-takedown scheme in contrast to Section 230’s general immunity). This probably unwarranted bias in favor of copyright owners draws censorious plaintiffs to copyright claims like an irresistible magnet.

Last year, the court rejected Katz’s copyright claim:


Case citation: Katz v. Chevaldina, 2015 WL 5255429 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 17, 2015). Magistrate R&R on attorneys’ fees (May 6, 2015). Judge’s approval of the R&R.



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