The North Jersey Media Group filed suit against Sarah Palin and her political action committee Friday, alleging copyright infringement over the use of an iconic photograph of a flag at Ground Zero taken by one of their newspaper photographers.
The suit filed in Manhattan federal court by the publisher of The Bergen Record and Herald News newspapers in New Jersey accuses Palin’s SarahPAC of using a copy of the photo on its website and Facebook page without permission.
The photo depicts New York City firefighters George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein as they raise a flag at at the site of the World Trade Center attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. Thomas E. Franklin of the Record captured the scene. The image has lodged in the lore surrounding the attacks, and the whereabouts of the actual flag in the photo are unknown.
In a report about their lawsuit, the North Jersey Media Group-owned NorthJersey.com said that the lawsuit was filed when neither Palin nor the PAC responded to a letter.
“It is important to enforce our copyright on this iconic photo,” said Jennifer A. Borg, vice president, corporate secretary and general counsel for North Jersey Media Group. “When neither Ms. Palin nor representatives from her PAC responded to our demand letter to remove the photograph, we were left with no choice but to seek redress in court.”
The lawsuit asks the court to stop SarahPAC from using the picture and damages.