Updated: Jul 19, 2022
On June 30, 2022, Los Angeles Lakers' guard Kendrick Nunn was sued in Florida District Court for copyright infringement. The plaintiff, a professional photographer named Steven Mitchell, alleges that Nunn deliberately removed his explicit attribution and credit that accompanied the original image. Mitchell licensed his sports photographs primarily through Imagn Content Services, a division of the USA Today Media Network.
At the time of the alleged injury, Nunn was playing for the Miami Heat. Mitchell was hired to photograph Heat players, and he did so at a pre-season event on September 30, 2019. Mitchell claims that Nunn obtained a photo of his from that day and posted it on Facebook and Instagram without his permission.
Mitchell seeks $150,000 in statutory damages, punitive and actual damages, and an injunction to have the photo taken down. The photograph in question is attached below:
Mitchell is no stranger to copyright litigation as he and LeBron James settled a similar lawsuit last year. James had filed a countersuit against the photographer seeking $1 million after Mitchell sued him for posting his image without consent.
Jason Morrin is a recent graduate of Hofstra Law School. He was the President of Hofstra’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society. He will be a Law Clerk at Zumpano, Patricios, & Popok after taking the July, 2022 Bar Exam. He can be found on Twitter @Jason_Morrin.