Ronald Lowery, according to a complaint he filed in the Atlanta Division on October 23, 2012, "is a professional photographer who specializes in low-altitude photographs of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Tennessee Valley." He makes his photographs available for purchase or license on his website, the home page of which bears the caption "All images © Ron Lowery." Mr. Lowery obtained U.S. Copyright Registration No. Vau 563-707 ("the '707 Registration") on November 25, 2002 for eight prints. His complaint alleges that an aerial photograph of the Chattanooga riverfront ("the Chattanooga Photo") is one of the registered photographs covered by the '707 Registration.
Defendant, Eagle Eye Surveillance Systems, Inc. ("Eagle Eye") has a principal place of business in Locust Grove, Georgia, according to the complaint. Its website states that Eagle Eye "specializes in 'live' video monitoring services that are extremely affordable for all businesses." According to the complaint, another Eagle Eye website, www.videomonitoring.co/chattanooga-video-monitoring, which advertises Eagle Eye's services for the Chattanooga area, used one of Mr. Lowery's registered photographs. Exhibits C to D to the complaint purport to include a screen capture of that website made earlier, showing the Chattanooga Photo. (Currently, however, that Eagle Eye website no longer appears to be using that photograph.)
The complaint alleges that after discovering Eagle Eye's use of the Chattanooga Photo around December 2011, Mr. Lowery sent a letter to Eagle Eye demanding a retroactive non-exclusive license fee, but that Eagle Eye failed to respond to the letter and refused to pay the fee demanded. The complaint alleges willful copyright infringement, and seeks an award of either, at Mr. Lowery's election: (1) actual damages and profits, or (2) statutory damages. The complaint additionally seeks awards of attorneys' fees, costs, and interest.
The case is Ronald Lowery v. Eagle Eye Surveillance Systems, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-3697, filed 10/23/12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to Senior Judge Orinda D. Evans.