August 01, 2011 9:21am PT by Eriq Gardner
'Project Runway' Hit With Copyright Lawsuit From Photographer
A Missouri photographer is suing Lifetime and A&E claiming the networks improperly featured her copyrighted photographs on the current season of Project Runway.
Marcie Cobbaert filed a complaint on Friday in Missouri federal court, alleging that at least four of her photographs of the work of current Runway contestant Laura Kathleen Planck were swiped. The photog claims that when the reality fashion show featured Planck's past work, it violated the copyright on her photos.
Cobbaert says she never consented to the use of her photos on television and on the show's website, and that the network was expressly informed of her objection to the use. The complaint states that the material is being used for advertising purposes and being displayed with stamps "falsely indicating the photograph belongs to Lifetime."
The plaintiff claims between $750 to $30,000 per infringement and statutory damages up to $150,000 for willful infringement.
Television networks have seen a spate of lawsuits from photographers recently. Last week, a photographer sued Fox News over a copyrighted picture used during The O'Reilly Factor just as another photographer sued Bravo over a copyrighted picture being allegedly misused on Million Dollar Decorators.