Fox News, North Jersey Media Group end lawsuits through settlement
Feb 17, 2016 10:04 AM EST
Fox News and North Jersey Media Group (NJMG) has reached a settlement regarding the famous photo of firefighter raising the US flag in the site of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. The settlement discontinues the copyright infringement lawsuits the companies have filed against each other.
NJMG who owns the rights to the photo taken by its former employee, Thoma Franklin, filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Fox News for using the material in the Facebook page of Jeanine Pirro and juxtaposed with a photo of the US Marines during the World War 2. According to Channel News Asia, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District.
After the lawsuit against Pirro, NJMG filed another suit on 2014 for Fox's use of photo for Facebook page of host Bret Baier. NJMG took the rights to the photo since 2001 for more than $1 million in licensing fee. As reported by Media Post, Fox argued that the photo was found by a staff through Google and was posted in Pirro's page as part of the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks which took thousands of lives.
Fox also argued that they used the photo under the fair use principles which U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos did not agree with in his summary judgement in February 2015. The broadcast company also countersued NJMG for posting Fox videos without their consent.
NJMG and Fox attempted to conclude the case with a settlement but were unable to finalize the document. However, according to Deadline, the case has finally concluded as Fox and NJMG has reached a settlement before their scheduled court trial.
"Fox News Network, LLC and North Jersey Media Group Inc. have agreed to a confidential settlement of their disputes," Hogan Lovells' Dori Ann Hanswirth said in a statement. "As a result of the settlement, North Jersey Media will discontinue its copyright infringement claims against Fox News, and Fox News will discontinue its copyright infringement and unfair competition claims against North Jersey Media."
Litigation process for the case was initially scheduled to proceed in a Manhattan court. The lawsuit filed against Fox excluded Pirro who was ejected from the case last September. The terms of Fox and NJMG settlement were not disclosed.