Lifting photos from New York Post will cost Oregon man
A Klamath County man who runs a conspiracy-laden website will have to pay a photographer on the other side of the country more than $14,000 for photos lifted from the New York Post without permission more than four years ago.
Henry Shivley of Chiloquin, who runs the website fromthetrenchesworldreport.com, was ordered Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Medford to pay damages of $14,735 to New Jersey-based freelance photographer Chris Sadowski, ruling that Shivley used Sadowski’s copyrighted photos in a pair of 2015 news reports about high-profile wrecks in the New York area.
Shivley lifted Sadowski’s photos — and the bulk of the accompanying New York Post reports — of a man who reportedly tried to run over New York Port Authority officers in a January 2015 rampage, and a fatal February 2015 crash that killed CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon, according to court documents.
Sadowski filed his lawsuit against Shivley in September of last year, court records show. He said in court filings that he learned in April 2017 that Shivley’s website was using his photographs without authorization, and that his lawyers’ efforts to reach Shivley by August 2018 were unsuccessful.
Shivley filed a response to the lawsuit in October of last year, which U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said was thrown out because it was composed of “quasi-legal gibberish and ‘sovereign citizen’ arguments.”
“Once this action was filed, Shivley filed the entirely frivolous response, in which he accused plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel of treason and sedition for attempting to defend plaintiff’s copyrights,” McShane wrote Wednesday. “Shivley has otherwise refused to participate in this action.”
On Shivley’s website, he calls the ruling that struck his reply a “fraudulent order” that came from a “fraudulent private corporate court.”
Other parts of Shivley’s website contain conspiracy theories such as alleging the false claim that former president Barack Obama attended Columbia University as foreign student “Barry Soetoro,” according to a “Know Your Enemy” tab on the website.
The fact-checking website Snopes.com has proved that the supposed 1981 student ID with a photo of Obama was faked, in part because it has a barcode, something the university didn’t incorporate until 1996.
Most of the content on Shivley’s website is pasted from other news sources, with links back to the original site.
McShane ordered Shivley to pay triple Sadowski’s median licensing fee of $1,622.50 per photo, and the minimum statutory damages under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of $2,500 per photo.