Michael Jordan's Tequila Company Sued for Copyright Infringement

Michael Jordan's Tequila Company Sued for Copyright Infringement

Cincoro, the premium tequila company founded by Michael Jordan and a group of NBA owners, is being sued by a Los Angeles photographer for copyright infringement in a suit that alleges the company used her images in a variety of instances without her permission.

The suit, filed by photographer Anaïs Ganouna, alleges that Cincoro used photographs shot by her on its website and social media as well as in advertisements without permission or compensation. The trouble started when Ganouna's company, Frank & Anaïs, was hired by The Colors You Like, a production company tasked with producing the launch of Cincoro's tequila. Ganouna alleges that she was hired due to the company's dissatisfaction with a previous photographer and that no licensing was negotiated beforehand because the company wanted to evaluate the results before planning their usage. However, once the shoot was done, Ganouna says she was told that none of the photos would be used. 

The suit says that later in 2019, Ganouna saw her photos in use across the internet by both Cincoro and its distribution partners. She screenshotted the unauthorized usages and attached them in the suit's filing. As a result, Ganouna's representation, VGC, LLP, filed the suit, which alleges copyright infringement, civil conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud, and unfair compensation and seeks a variety of damages and relief. VGC, LLP alleges that they notified the defendants of the unauthorized usage, but that they refused to remedy the situation or compensate Ganouna, leading to the lawsuit.

Lead image by Flickr user shgmom56 (Barbara Moore), used under Creative Commons.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Hey, at least it's not another "Celeb gets sued for reposting paparazzi's photo of themselves".

" ... no licensing was negotiated beforehand ..." Think this might be a problem?

read the article. they didn't negotiate a licensing fee because the photographer was informed that no images would be used.

Also, no licensing agreement means _they cannot use the photos_. They need to secure an agreement prior to publishing them.

So it is the problem, but not for the photographer. It's a problem for the company that didn't secure the agreement then proceeded to use the images. I hope they're ready to pay up.

I kinda wonder how they got actual possession of the images to begin with, I would never release the images without have a contract and payment in-hand first. It should have been set up for online viewing/review without download capabilities.
But in the end, i expect she will get much more money this way.