NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson has been making national news headlines lately, and not just for his plays on the field. Watson is being sued by a photographer who alleges that the football player had no permission to use the photographs he took.
This photographer is currently based out of Houston, Texas, but he has worked all over the country throughout his career. He has made a name for himself as a freelancer, meaning he operates on his own and then sells the photos he takes to various outlets.
Three photos were apparently used by Watson, who took them and proceeded to post them on his personal Instagram page. Many Instagram users utilize this platform to share photos of themselves, they took themselves, however a variety of professionals and celebrities also use it to share content from other sources (what Watson appears to have been doing).
The photographer claims that Watson never had his permission to post those pictures. Keep in mind more than 1 million people follow Watson on that particular platform and 171,000 of his followers already liked the pictures in question. The photographer is suing on the grounds that the pictures are already registered via the U.S. Copyright Office, meaning Watson cannot simply post them himself.
In an interesting twist, the team is apparently banning the photographer from coming to future games. This case really shows how complex these seemingly minimal issue can become, being that much more important for you to understand your legal rights.