Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

New York photograph files copyright suit against Chicago area firm in Southern District of Illinois


By The Madison County Record | Mar 26, 2019


BENTON – Treetop Wealth Management investment firm in Northfield (located in Cook County) featured a photograph of Wall Street on its website without permission, according to a suit in U.S. district court.

Photographer Joergen Geerds of Long Island City, New York, alleged copyright infringement against Treetop on March 21. 

He seeks actual damages plus any profit attributable to the photo, or statutory damages up to $150,000 per copyrighted work. 

His lawyer, Richard Liebowitz of Valley Stream, New York, attached the photo. 

Liebowitz wrote that Geerds is author of the photograph, registered as “Wall Street Frontal 2008,” and has at all times been sole owner of all right, title and interest in the photo including the copyright.    

“Treetop Wealth did not license the photograph from plaintiff for its website, nor did Treetop Wealth have plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the photograph on its website,” the suit claims. 

Treetop’s acts were allegedly willful, intentional, and purposeful, in disregard of and indifference to Geerds’s rights.

He seeks damages up to $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed upon, as well as attorney fees and costs. 

Senior District Judge Phil Gilbert will preside.

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois