Wednesday, April 04, 2007

McClatchey photo End of Serenity Lawsuit proceeds

The McClatchey photograph (End of Serenity) has been the subject of conspiracy theories since its publication. We've followed the story at This is Not a Conspiracy Theory.

Judge preserves lawsuit over Sept. 11 photo
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

By Milan Simonich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Valencia McClatchey, an amateur photographer who claims The Associated Press pirated her historic picture of the Sept. 11 attacks, is entitled to her day in court, a Pittsburgh judge has ruled.
Mrs. McClatchey took the picture seconds after hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near her home in Somerset County.

Her photo shows a blue sky, a red barn and a towering cloud of gray smoke from the downed jet, whose 44 passengers died in the crash near Shanksville.

Mrs. McClatchey received a federal copyright for the photo in January 2002, four months after snapping it.

She says Associated Press photographer Gene Puskar surreptitiously copied the photo later in 2002 and the wire service distributed it to 2,000 news organizations without her permission.

Lawyers for the AP counter that the wire service used the photo with her consent.

"We vigorously disagree with Mrs. McClatchey and will respond in court at the appropriate time," said Michael Berry, an AP attorney.

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry last month denied the AP's motion for summary judgment. He told both sides to file summaries of their cases before a pretrial conference April 20.

Mrs. McClatchey, 51, says in her lawsuit that she agreed to be photographed with her picture for an AP story marking the one-year anniversary of the attacks.

She says Mr. Puskar duped her by taking a photograph of her photograph. She claims he also cropped the photo to remove the copyright notice.

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