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Sinclair Broadcast Group has recently resolved its copyright dispute with famous Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen. He had accused the company of unlawfully embedding his video of a starving polar bear without his prior permission in an article about it going viral. A filing in Manhattan federal court says, “The parties agree to dismiss their claims with prejudice, which means they can't be refiled.” However, the matter came before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. The company tried their hands before the judge for tossing the case in the month of July but the court denied it straight away.
Nicklen was being represented by attorneys James Bartolomei of the Duncan Firm; Robert Kaplan of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer; and Bryan Hoben of Hoben Law. While Sinclair through attorney Thomas Sullivan of Ballard Spahr. None of them responded to the request to comment on the matter. Nicklen is a well-known nature photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist. He posted a video in the year 2017 to his Instagram and Facebook accounts that he captured an emaciated polar bear wandering the Arctic. Sinclair's almost every website embedded Nicklen’s video in an article. After this incident, Nicklen sued Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair, and dozens of its local affiliates for deliberately committing copyright infringement.
Sinclair had argued that under the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' so-called ‘server test’ which says that simply embedding the video from social media without storing any copy on its server and displaying it didn't infringe Nicklen's copyright in any manner. But Rakoff had clearly stated in his July ruling that the server test is contrary to the text and legislative history of the Copyright Act. He becomes the second judge in the Manhattan court after passing this ruling to reject it.
The case can be reached with the name is Nicklen v. Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, bearing case no. 1:20-cv-10300.