Photographer sues graphic artist claiming he wrongfully sold copyrighted photos as part of $246K settlement

By Louisiana Record reports | Aug 20, 2015

GRETNA – A photographer is suing a graphic artist claiming he and his company wrongfully sold the copyright of his photos.

P.J. Hahn filed suit against Michael Hunt, Hunt Studios Inc. and Hunt Graphics Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on June 24.

Hahn alleges he entered into an agreement with Hunt Studios Inc. in June 2012 in which he would take photos of various shore birds for a series of lithographs. The plaintiff contends he took several photos of birds that were submitted to Hunt. Hahn asserts that he also entered into a collaboration with Ducks Unlimited to brand the project to raise awareness about coastal erosion and that in participation with Ducks Unlimited Hunt began selling the lithographs. However, the plaintiff alleges Hunt withdrew from the contract in the fall of 2010 claiming Ducks Unlimited had violated the contract and that in October 2012 he sent a contract requesting permission to sell the copyrighted material.

In February 2015, Hunt purportedly settled a lawsuit against Ducks Unlimited for $246,000, part of which was the sale of the copyright of various editions of the lithograph prints based onto photos taken by Hahn. The plaintiff contends Hunt committed fraud by selling the copyright on the lithographs to Ducks Unlimited because they belonged to Hahn and he had not obtained permission to do so.

The defendant is accused of copyright violation.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for the value of the copyrighted material.

Hahn is represented by attorneys Scott Mcquaig of Metairie and Robert Garrity Jr. of Harahan.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge E. Adrian Adams.

Case no. 750-940.

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