FORT LAUDERDALE (Florida Record) — A Tampa-area professional photographer has filed suit in federal court against two Florida companies, alleging they stole a photograph he registered for copyright in 2015 for use in their own advertisements.
Bryan A. Glynn filed suit May 2 against Ultimate Cigars, doing business as Ultimate Cigars and Fine Wines, and Chilix Inc. in U.S. District Court for Florida's Southern District, Fort Lauderdale Division.
The suit says Glynn's photo of cigars, was registered with the Register of Copyrights in October 2015, according to his seven-page complaint for copyright infringement and demand for injuctive relief. Ultimate Cigars is based in Fort Lauderdale and Chilix Inc. is based in Miami and doing business as Business in 360, a website development company that creates virtual tours and websites.
Glynn says he never gave the companies permission or authority "to copy, distribute or display the work at issue in this case."
Glynn alleges the defendants copied his copyrighted work from the Internet in order to advertise, market and promote its business activities. "The defendants committed the violations alleged in connection with defendants' business for purposes of advertising and promoting sales to the public in the course and scope of the defendants' business," the suit said.
Glynn, "an experienced professional photographer" who maintains an online presence at BGPictures, brought his case under the federal Copyright Act, under which he alleges exclusive rights "to copy and distribute his original copyrighted works of authorship," the lawsuit said.
"Glynn is a master of lighting with extensive experience in using both natural light and flashes to get spectacular results in any environment," the lawsuit said. "Glynn also is the founder of CigarObsession (at www.cigarobsession.com) and the producer of one of the most popular cigar video review YouTube channels."
Glynn's work has earned him "many awards, both local and national" and has appeared in magazines and newspapers, the suit alleged. "Glynn's work can be identified at a glance for its crisp almost 3D look without using HDR; instead he uses off camera flash for dimension and pop, especially in his product work, which produces incredible details and dimension that stand out like a fingerprint for clients."
Glynn alleges the work the defendants used without his authorization contains copyright management information that the defendants "knowingly and with the intent to enable or facilitate copyright infringement, removed", a violation of federal law."
"The defendants committed these acts knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that they will induce, enable, facilitate or conceal infringement of Glynn’s rights in the work at issue in this action protected under the Copyright Act," the lawsuit said. "The defendants caused, directed and authorized others to commit these acts knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that they will induce, enable, facilitate or conceal infringement of Glynn’s rights in the work at issue in this action protected under the Copyright Act."
After learning that Ultimate Cigars and Fine Wines and Business in 360 were using his work, Glynn notified them in September and October of 2017 and in January 2018, according to the lawsuit. "To date, the parties have failed to resolve this issue," the suit said.
"The harm caused to Glynn has been irreparable," the lawsuit said.
Glynn seeks a jury trial, an injunction against the defendants, damages, statutory damages, attorney fees and court costs, plus all other relief the court deems just and proper. He is represented by attorney Joel B. Rothman of Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group in Boca Raton.
U.S. District Court for Florida's Southern District Fort Lauderdale Division case number 0:18-cv-60991-DPG