Interior Photographer Wins $12M Verdict!

June 25th, 2008

Via: Thomas Bliss’s IAAP site and Carolyn Wright’s Photo Attorney blog:

“Liz Ordonez-Dawes, an accomplished architectural and interior design photographer, recently was awarded more than $12 million dollars for copyright infringement of seven photographs. In brief, the court found that the defendants distributed Ms. Ordonez-Dawes’ photos of high-end houses to various third parties for advertisements to sell the houses without authority and with knowledge that such act constituted copyright infringement. The court’s Order provides some background of the case as well as the calculation of damages.”

“How did she do it? First, Ms. Ordonez-Dawes registered her photos with the US Copyright Office so that she was eligible for statutory damages for infringements. Second, the defendants never filed a response (aka an “Answer”) to the Amended Complaint, so they were in “default.” In other words, the Defendants did not defend the lawsuit so that the allegations of the Complaint were deemed to be true.”

Now that’s a reason to register your images with the copyright office if I ever heard one!

Update: Carolyn Wright, over at Photo Attorney has a good article on how to register your photos electronically with the Copyright office.

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3 Responses to “Interior Photographer Wins $12M Verdict!”

  • Is there a quick link or other info on how to register your photos? having to deal with “govt” paperwork always seems intimidating and I honestly have no idea how to go about it. This might make a good post as I havent ever heard of others doing this so Im sure I am not the only one with this question. Thanks for all the help this blog has been !

  • Not responding to a lawsuit is profoundly unwise.
    I sense that the defendant is bankrupt and thus as nice as this seems no money will change hands except from the plaintiff to her attorneys.

  • For Anonymous. Copyright registration is about the easiest there is to do. I it can now be done on line. Go to for everything you need to know.

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