Netflix faces new violation of copyright law

Netflix began as a small start-up, loaning DVDs to customers through the mail. In a short amount of time, it became a global entertainment company, providing movies, games and other technology to subscribers in New York and across the world. Recently, however, a dark cloud has fallen over the company in the form of copyright law violations.

On the heels of a successful lawsuit filed against Netflix by a photographer, other artists may be concerned about the safety of their own art. The photographer won his case accusing Netflix of using one of his photos as box art for a disc set of the original series "Stranger Things." Now, another photographer has discovered Netflix has used one of his works without obtaining his permission or offering compensation.

The photograph is of a supercell storm cloud taken on a Montana prairie. The eerie cloud formation with the setting sun behind it was apparently irresistible to Netflix, who admits to using the photograph as part of its concept art for "Beyond Stranger Things." Netflix justifies the use of the photograph by saying that a photographer cannot copyright something that is in the public domain, such as elements of nature. However, the photographer counters that it is not the cloud Netflix stole but the artist's representation of it.

When a New York artist captures something truly memorable in his or her creation, it is not uncommon for others to desire to make use of it for their own profit. This is why copyright law exists. When facing the violation of one's rights as an artist, it helps to have an attorney to assist in the planning of a legal strategy.

Source:, "Netflix Accused of Stealing Photographer's Work for 'Stranger Things' Artwork, Denies His Copyright When Confronted", Jack Alexander, May 11, 2018

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