Lynyrd Skynyrd Sued Over Jerry Lee Lewis Photo Displayed During Farewell Tour Performances

The rockers hit a sour note with the Indiana photographer behind the image.
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty; Jeffrey Ufberg/Getty
Lynyrd Skynyrd (Inset: Jerry Lee Lewis)

Lynyrd Skynyrd is being sued by a photographer who claims the rock band used his image of Jerry Lee Lewis in its farewell tour without proper attribution.

Larry Philpot says the group used his photo of Lewis without permission and stripped the image of its copyright management information, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court. 

Philpot says he took the photo of Lewis during a 2011 performance in Memphis, registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2013 and later uploaded it to Wikimedia, where users could license the work and distribute it with attribution. (See the photo in question here.)

"On the Wikimedia website the Lewis Photograph contains copyright management information (CMI), including metadata, which indicates that Mr. Philpot is the author of the photograph, that the photograph must be attributed to Mr. Philpot, and that the photograph is copyrighted by Mr. Philpot," writes attorney Michael Zachary in the complaint, which is posted below.  

The photographer claims Lynyrd Skynyrd used Lewis' image in the first 22 performances of its farewell tour as part of a video montage and did not get his permission or provide proper attribution. He also says the band contributed to further infringement of the photo by enabling those who attended the concert to take photos and videos of the show that included it.

Philpot is suing for copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.