Photographer Sues Detroit Lions Over Copyright Infringement

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Photographer Sues Detroit Lions Over Copyright Infringement

In a legal showdown that echoes the intensity of a game-winning drive, renowned photographer Allen Kee launched a lawsuit on Thursday, accusing the Detroit Lions of copyright infringement. The lawsuit revolves around an almost two-decades-old photograph of legendary running back Barry Sanders, allegedly recreated in minute detail for a statue erected by the team last year.

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Photographer Sues Detroit Lions Over Copyright Infringement

Allen Kee, with a photography career spanning three decades, claims that the Lions utilized his iconic photo, captured during a Lions game on September 3, 1995, as the blueprint for a statue unveiled on September 16, 2023. Kee’s lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court, not only targets the Lions but also names the National Football League (NFL), Getty Images, and various retailers, including Fanatics and Dick’s Sporting Goods, as defendants.

The heart of the matter lies in the detailed recreation of Kee’s photograph for the 8-foot-tall bronze statue, now a prominent feature outside the Lions’ home stadium. The lawsuit presents a screenshot from a YouTube video depicting the statue’s creation, showcasing a blown-up version of Kee’s photo used by the sculptor as a reference point.