The case arose when Mr. Shugart discovered that his client, Propet USA, Inc., a wholesale supplier of shoes, had been using Mr. Shugart's photographs beyond the scope of the license he granted. When he complained, Propet responded by filing a declaratory judgment suit seeking (1) a declaration that Mr. Shugart had no rights in the photographs he took and supplied to Propet and (2) an injunction against Mr. Shugart's attempts to sell his images.
Mr. Shugart filed counterclaims for (1) copyright infringement, (2) violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and (3) loss of and/or failure to return Mr. Shugart's original images.
After finding that Propet (1) infringed Mr. Shugart’s copyrights, (2) willfully removed his copyright management information from his images, and (3) failed to return his original images, the Jury awarded Mr. Shugart $303,000 for loss of Mr. Shugart's images, $500,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement, and $500,000 in damages for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
John Whitaker of the Whitaker Law Group and Ms. Eryn Deblois of the Mann Law Group ably assisted at trial.
The case is Propet USA, Inc., v. Lloyd Shugart, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, Case No. C06-186 MAT.