KANSAS CITY – A Kansas City photographer is suing a law firm for allegedly using one of his images of the city's downtown on its website without permission or payment.
Eric Bowers filed suit in U.S District Court for the Western District of Missouri on Oct. 12 against the law firm of Stanton & Redlingshafer and one of its principals, Janice Stanton.
The photographer claims Stanton and her firm violated exclusive rights under the Copyright Act when they allegedly copied and distributed his 2014 image of downtown Kansas City's skyline.
The complaint states, "Bowers’ portfolio was years in the making. Bowers is the 'go to' artist for depictions of the Kansas City area, and the work is sought after by architects, magazines, builders and other professionals."
Bowers, the complaint notes, is "well-paid for the work; the minimum fee for the time and use-limited license of the works defendants used without permission in this case is more than $1,000 per individual image for a licensee who wishes to use the image nationally."
The complaint alleges Stanton runs a "lucrative" law firm that operates across the metro area of Kansas City.
"Bowers alleges that defendants copied Bowers’ copyrighted work from the internet in order to nationally advertise, market and promote their business activities," according to suit. "Defendants committed the violations alleged in connection with defendants’ business for purposes of advertising and promoting sales to the public in the course and scope of defendants’ business."
The display of the image allegedly was repeated and continuous from February through September 2018, Bowers alleges, and was done to attract customers to the law firm.
Bowers asked the court to issue an injunction barring Stanton and her law firm from the using the image, and demanded they pay damages, including "profits attributable to the infringement, or, at plaintiff’s election, statutory damages," the suit states.
He is represented by Richard A. Voytas Jr. of Ross & Voytas in St. Louis.