Judge tosses Proforma's counterclaim against Fotohaus in copyright action over photo use
Art Law

Judge tosses Proforma’s counterclaim against Fotohaus in copyright action over photo use

SAN JOSE – A federal judge has dismissed a counterclaim in a legal dispute over rights to a photograph. Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the San Jose Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Fotohaus’ motion to dismiss with prejudice defendant PFG Ventures’ counterclaim for intentional interference with contractual relations on April 4. PFG Ventures is also known as Proforma. Daniel Foster is the sole member and manager of Fotohaus LLC, which owns the copyright to his image titled “Typing on a Laptop.” He accused Proforma Inc. of using the picture without permission after Aug. 31, 2014, by building it into a template that franchisees used for developing websites. Fotohaus filed a copyright infringement suit on March 23, 2018, then sent a cease and desist letter three days later. On Oct. 8, 2018, Proforma filed a counterclaim alleging Fotohaus illegally interfered with the contracts it has with franchisees. It said the franchisees had no control over the images, and had no control over its use or display, and therefore should not have been listed as defendants in Fotohaus’ lawsuit. On Oct. 29, Fotohaus moved to dismiss the counterclaim, arguing it is barred by […]


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