Shaby & Associates Files Lawsuit Against The Associated Press

January 30, 2020

Copyright law ordinarily permits the creator of a work - in this case, photographs of two aviation incidents of nationwide interest - the exclusive right to use their creations. However, first the courts, and now Congress, have carved out a right for others to use copyrighted materials in certain contexts, including “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” 17 U.S.C. § 107.

When multinational news agency The Associated Press enlisted the services of Higbee & Associates to hound a retired college professor teaching free aviation safety seminars as a FAASTeam volunteer, the small one-man operation turned to Shaby & Associates to seek a judicial declaratory judgment that the use of two Associated Press photographs was, in fact, fair.

The lawsuit is AvSport LLC v. The Associated Press, No. 2:20−cv−00871 DSF (JPRx) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Mr. Harshman has taken the lead in this litigation.