Tom Bean Wins Copyright Infringement Case Against John Wiley & Sons

Posted on 7/12/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In late March In the case of Tom Bean vs. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Judge Frederick J. Martone GRANTED partial summary judgment to the plaintiff on the issue of defendant's liability for copyright infringement of 26 images used in seven titles.

The case has since been settled out of court. Exact terms of the settlement were not revealed.

A significant question reviewed by the court was whether information about the number of copies distributed of various titles should be made public.

During discovery Wiley was required to supply Bean with the circulation figures of the seven titles where his images were used so the court could determine, not only if there had been unauthorized use, but the degree of such unauthorized use.

The defendant asked the court to seal this information and argued that making the data available in the court’s public record would “provide its competitors with information regarding it ‘market penetration, marketing priorities, sales distribution, overall success, and precise revenue results’ that would harm its competitive position.” Evidence was presented that Wiley had never made public actual revenue numbers or actual print-run numbers and also limits access to this information within the company on a “need to know” basis.

The court decided that, “On balance, the harm to defendant from public release of the exhibit outweighs the interest in access to evidence that is not crucial to the public's understanding of our ruling on the issue of liability.”

However, the judge did say that his analysis might differ if this information were to be offered at trial on the issue of damages.

For the complete decision see here.

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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