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University Claims it Obtained a License for Image in Tweet

Columbia University responds to photographer's suit claiming it obtained a license to include image in University tweet

In September 2019, we reported on a case photographer Marco Verch ("Verch") filed against The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York ("Columbia"), claiming Columbia infringed the rights in his photograph of eye glasses with a laptop (the "Image").

On March 27, 2020, Columbia filed its Answer to Verch's complaint. Columbia denies many of the allegations Verch made in his complaint, although it admits that the Image appeared on the Twitter page identified by Verch. However, Columbia asserts that it obtained a license for the Image from Verch's licensing agent, and therefore it was "licensed to reproduce, publish, display, distribute, and/or use" the Image pursuant to the license. Columbia did not provide a copy of the alleged license with the Answer.

Columbia asserts various defenses including that the complaint is barred by waiver, estoppel, unclean hands and/or acquiescence, and that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

On March 30, 2020, the court entered an Order to schedule the initial case management conference, and the case will proceed to discovery.