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Seidman v. Authentic Brands Grp. LLC

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 21, 2020, Decided; April 21, 2020, Filed

19-cv-8343 (LJL)

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

LEWIS J. LIMAN, United States District Judge:

Defendant Authentic Brands Group LLC ("ABG" or "Defendant") moves for an order requiring Plaintiff Helayne Seidman ("Seidman" or "Plaintiff") to post a bond. For the following reasons, that motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a professional photographer in the business of licensing her photographs to online and print media for a fee. (Dkt. No. 19 ¶ 5.) Many years ago, she photographed a mask sculpture at an art show (the "Photograph"). (Id. ¶ 11, Exhibit A.) She licensed the Photograph to the New York Post, which published it on February 16, 2010 in an article entitled "Shaq's in the paint with new art show." (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.)

Plaintiff now alleges that Defendant, a foreign limited liability company that operates Shaquille O'Neal's Facebook page, ran the Photograph on the Facebook page without obtaining a license [*2]  from her or her consent. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 10-11.) It is apparently not disputed that Defendant published the Photograph on or about March 9, 2012. (Id., Exhibit D; Dkt. No. 28 at 3.) Plaintiff alleges she first discovered the Facebook post in July 2019. (Dkt. No. 19 ¶ 14.) She registered the Photograph with the United States Copyright Office on or about August 3, 2019. (Id. ¶ 11, Exhibit C.) On September 8, 2019, she brought this action alleging copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501. (See generally id.) Among other relief, she seeks statutory damages and a declaration that ABG infringed her copyright. (Id. at 4-5.)

On March 5, 2020, ABG served an Offer of Judgment (the "Offer") on Plaintiff, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68. (Dkt. No. 28 at 3.) Defendant avers that the Offer "well exceeded more than five (5) times Plaintiff's best-case scenario historical licensing fees." (Id. at 3-4.) Plaintiff rejected the Offer of Settlement. (Id. at 5.) This motion followed, in which Defendant seeks a bond of not less than $20,000. (Id. at 9.)

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70418 *; 2020 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 10395

HELYANE SEIDMAN, Plaintiff, -v- AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP LLC, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

attorney's fees, costs, prevailing party, prevailing, Photograph, Copyright Act, infringement, post-offer, cases, prevailing plaintiff, statutory damages, part of the cost, non-prevailing, meritorious, quotations, Circuits, litigate, argues, rights