Quincy Jones Settles Copyright Claim with Photographer
Music producer Quincy Jones and photographer Michael Donald Jones (aka Mike Jones Photography) have settled their dispute over the photographer’s claim of copyright infringement. Terms of the settlement were not announced.
Mike Jones filed suit last year in a federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that Quincy Jones provided a portrait without permission for use in ads, packaging and other materials to promote a line of audio headphones. The headphone manufacturer, and a book publisher that also used the photo, were named as co-defendants in the case.
Mike Jones claimed that an associate of Quincy Jones’s offered him $5,000 in 2010 for what amounted to a rights transfer of the disputed portrait. The photographer asked for $10,000, then got a counter offer of $6,500, which he allegedly refused.
The images began appearing without Mike Jones’s permission in ads and other promotions for the headphones, which were endorsed by Quincy Jones. Mike Jones filed a claim for infringement early last year against Quincy Jones, headphone manufacturer AKG Harman, and Hal Leonard, the music book publisher.
AKG Harman denied the photographer’s claims, saying that the disputed photograph was shot on a work-for-hire basis.
Mike Jones alleged in his lawsuit that the disputed portrait originated when he photographed Quincy Jones in 1995 in Hollywood at Qwest Records. Mike Jones then provided Quincy Jones with 8×10 prints of some of the photographs. At that time, he refused to sign away his rights to those session photographs, despite Qwest Records’ efforts to “strong-arm” him into transferring the rights, Mike Jones alleged in his claim.
Neither Mike Jones nor the attorneys for either side responded to requests for comment about the settlement.