Minden Pictures Inc. v. Marriott International Hotels, Inc. (D. Mass. 21-cv-10969) and Bowers v. Marriott International Hotels, Inc. (D. Mass. 21-cv-10977).

  • September 22, 2021

Amendments to the complaints on two separate copyright infringement suits against Marriott Hotels were filed, each adding Tripadvisor as a new defendant.  The amended complaints accuse Marriott and/or Tripadvisor, or an agent acting on their behalf, of taking a photograph off of the internet and using it in Marriott’s online advertising without permission.  Minden Pictures, a wildlife and nature stock photography company, asserts that nine photographs for which it is the exclusive licensee were used by Marriott, and also that the defendants removed copyright management information from the photographs.  Eric Bowers, a Kansas-based photographer who specializes in architectural photos, says that one photograph was improperly put on Marriott’s website.  It is unclear why Tripadvisor was named as a defendant – neither amended complaint alleges any specific relationship between Marriott and Tripadvisor and there are no allegations that any of the offending photographs appear on Tripadvisor’s site.  Further, neither complaint had been responded to at the time the amended complaints were filed, so it seems unlikely that some link turned up in discovery. 

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