Remember the McCloskeys, that horrible couple from the summer who got famous for looking like nerds while threatening protestors with firearms then bitched about that fame while enjoying it as speakers at the Republican National Convention? Well, they are currently suing over having their photograph taken yet simultaneously passing around copies of the photograph they claim to hate as a greeting card. Meanwhile, the photographer who took the photo would like to be paid for his work.
William Greenblatt, a photographer with United Press International, has sent the McCloskeys a letter through his attorneys declaring that use of the photograph for a greeting card “is clearly a violation of the National Copyright Act,” pointing out that as lawyers (who also have a history of suing their neighbors) the McCloskeys should be aware of that fact. Included with the letter is an invoice for $1,500, a “normal charge for an image such as yours,” according to Greenblatt.
The couple reportedly recently passed around 1,000 signed copies of the image stamped with text that reads “Patty and Mark McCloskey v. The Mob, June 28, 2020.” And while the decision to pass around the image would indicate that they are fairly chuffed with it, yesterday, The Baltimore Sun reported that the McCloskeys also sued Greenblatt claiming the photographer was “trespassing to capture one of the most iconic images of the confrontation between the McCloskeys and protesters on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.” The now-infamous holiday greeting card image was taken in June 2020 as the couple pointed weapons at Black Lives Matter protestors who they feared were veering too close to their home as they marched toward the home of the mayor of St Louis, Lyda Krewson, several blocks away.
The couple’s suit alleges that the proliferation of their photograph means that Greenblatt and UPI have profited off “t-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs’ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs’ consent.”
Meanwhile, the McCloskeys say that all they got was indicted by a grand jury as a direct consequence of their own actions, relieved of the responsibility of housing firearms, a slew of support from fear-mongering Republican politicians, a speaking engagement at the RNC, personal commendation from bigot-in-chief Donald Trump, and, apparently, a heretofore free of charge photograph to send to friends and family in celebration of both a holiday based on gratitude and the birth of Christ. All tallied up this, that sounds like a bounty. Perhaps if the card goes into a second printing it could read: “Patty and Mark McCloskey Blessed By the Mob, June, 28, 2020.”