US Man Sued for Posting Screenshots from Obscure 60 Year Old TV Show

/ 5 years ago

robot lawyer

A man is sued for posting a screenshot from an obscure 60-year-old TV show.

We all know that America has a rather interesting law culture. Specifically, the apparent requirement to sue everyone over everything. If you trip and fall over, sue the local authority for an uneven pavement. If that doesn’t work sue the shoe-maker for causing your fall. In fairness, it is a culture which has crept into the European mindset a little, but fortunately not quite as bad.

In most things, however, you would think that posting a screenshot would, on a low-key level, be alright. An American man, has, however, found himself at the center of a lawsuit for $150,000. His crime? Posting screenshots from an obscure 1960’s American TV-show.

At this time, I image he wished he’d gone into piracy in a bigger way.

fight p90x piracy

$150,000 for screenshots!

The man in question, Jon Tannen, posted on social media some screenshots. They were for a TV show called ‘Gunsmoke’. Not heard of it? I had, but only in passing. A quick wiki search shows me that it aired in the US from 1955-1975. CBS, who own the rights to the show found out about this reports the Independent.

As such, they issued Mr. Tannen with a lawsuit for $150,000 stating: “This copyright infringement action arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s valuable intellectual property. Tannen hypocritically engaged in this act of infringement while simultaneously bringing suit against Plaintiff’s sister company, CBS Interactive Inc., claiming it had violated his own copyright.”

Doing a little digging, it appears that Mr. Tannen was initially ordered to remove the images and refused to do so. He decided to pick a fight with the company that asked him to do so. At this point, Mr. Tannen was apparently blissfully unaware that the company he was dealing with was affiliated with the media giant CBS. Whoops.

This isn’t exactly pirating video games. Even though a recent report says that’s getting easier to do. At the same time, copyright is copyright.

What do you think? Are CBS picking on the little guy here or did Mr. Tannen bite off more than he could chew? – Let us know in the comments!


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