Getty Images has released a statement responding to a $1 Billion copyright infringement lawsuit filed by accomplished photographer Carol M Highsmith.

The suit, which sent shockwaves around the creative community, stems from the alleged copyright misuse of 18,755 photos taken by Highsmith. The photos were donated to the Library of Congress and labeled as having “no known restrictions on publication.”

In its official release, Getty says the issue at hand is “based on a number of misconceptions.”

“It is standard practice for image libraries to distribute and provide access to public domain content,” reads the statement. “Distributing and providing access to public domain content is different to asserting copyright ownership of it.”

Getty further explains that a company called License Compliance Services (LCS) was responsible for the pursuit of the infringement claim on Highsmith. LCS sent the claim on behalf of their client, Alamy; a Getty subsidiary.

The statement also says that once Highsmith contacted LCS, any pursuit of copyright claims were essentially abandoned.

The company hopes to “rectify” the situation as soon as possible, however they are prepared for litigation and will defend themselves “vigorously” if needed.

Andre Karimloo
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Andre Karimloo


A writer from the Los Angeles area in his 20-somethings. An enjoyer of good conversations, good compositions, and good drinks. Inspired by the the sights, sounds and ideals of a city which embraces cultures of all different mediums.

Translate »
Share This