Virginia GOP Settles Copyright Lawsuit Brought By On-Line Publisher
Valerie Garner, publisher of the Roanoke Free Press website, has settled her copyright lawsuit against the Virginia Republican Party related to the unauthorized use of a photograph she took of Delegate Sam Rasoul. This photograph was the subject of prior litigation between Garner and a political blogger who used the same photograph on his website. In 2015, Judge Conrad issued an opinion denying the blogger's motion to dismiss based on the fair use doctrine.
The case settled shortly thereafter. In the most recent case against the Virginia Republican Party, Garner alleged that the GOP use the same photograph in a campaign mailer, without her permission. The GOP had filed a partial motion for summary judgment arguing that Garner was not entitled to statutory damages or attorney fees under the Copyright Act. While that summary judgment motion was pending, the parties settled the case, for $9,000 and a promise not to use the photograph again, according to news reports.