September 14th, 2013
04:32 PM ET
11 months ago

Palin sued over alleged 9/11 photo use

NEW YORK (CNN) - Sarah Palin and her political action committee are being sued by a newspaper publisher over the use of an "iconic" Sept. 11 photograph.

In legal documents obtained by CNN, the North Jersey Media Group claims that Palin used their "WTC Flag Raising Photograph" without permission when it was allegedly posted on her Facebook page and the website for her political action committee, SarahPAC.


The photograph, which depicts three firefighters raising an American flag over the rubble of the World Trade Center, was taken September 11, 2001, by Thomas E. Franklin, a staff photographer at the publisher's subsidiary, The Record, in New Jersey. CNN Films recently produced a documentary, entitled “The Flag,” that explored the story of the banner, which went missing.

The photograph has drawn national attention - being made into a stamp in 2002, and later enshrined in the Library of Congress, according to the photographer's website.

Screen captures sent to CNN by the publishing company show the picture on Palin's Facebook page, embossed with the words, "We Will Never Forget." CNN did not, however, independently view the photos on Palin's websites before they were reportedly taken down.

“It’s important to enforce our copyright on this iconic photo," Jennifer Borg, general counsel of the North Jersey Media Group, told CNN. “When neither Ms. Palin nor her PAC responded to our demand letter to remove the photo, we were left with no choice but to seek redress through the courts.”

In the federal lawsuit, filed Friday, the publisher asks that Palin and SarahPAC be forced to stop using the photograph and pay damages or defendants’ profits.

CNN reached out to Palin and her representatives for comment Saturday, but did not receive an immediate response.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (630 Responses)
  1. ted

    Sarah who?

    September 14, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. PETER

    It's not right for the publisher of this photo to put a copy right on it. It should be in the public domain to forever remember what occurred. Especially with it reaching the level of national publication as a stamp. Remember the victims. Not your wallet. Totally shameful.

    September 14, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. Wes Scott

    Palin – thief! Who would have expected anything else?

    September 14, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Bejvalejpepik@yahoo.com

    We and millions and millions of great Americans love you Sarah..!

    September 14, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. hel

    this story is boring, but i decided to comment because my cat told me too. bye bye now goat lady!

    September 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Phil Hotchkiss

    The newspaper owner who is suing has to be a liberal media .getting. money for doing nothing.

    September 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. sully

    Everyone else and the dog posted that same pic on FB. Are they being sued?

    September 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Lee Downie

    Ring her bell but good!

    September 14, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. mentaldiva

    No surprise; isn't anything "patriotic" her's to use?

    September 14, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Vincent Patel

    I do her.

    September 14, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Palin Supporter

    I just wonder if O'bama had used the picture would they have said anything about it?

    September 14, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. trisha

    Please! I have seen that picture on many websites!!

    September 14, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. teamster85

    Use anything you can by hook or by crook in the sacred name of fundraising.

    September 14, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. bigjohnpudd

    what if I posted a pic. I could post anything I want to post. this guy can't do this. its a famous picture. she posted in honor of 911 stooge.

    September 14, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. Fool me thrice??

    Palin can see ethical behavior from her house......she just can't seem to get there.

    September 14, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The last time I heard its america if you dont. Like so freaking what

    September 14, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. teamster85

    Use any American icon not of your ownership if it helps in the sacred art of fundraising..

    September 14, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. former Texas republican

    Every Time I read something about Palin , it just validates my opinion of the marginal competence of John McCain. Only God knows what this guy was thinking. Credit goes to him for creating this herpes virus there's know cure for.

    September 14, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Cat

    Palin, the super moron of the world is at it again. Just shut up and go away. NO one likes you, NO one cares what you have to say, and NO one gives a crap what you are doing. So just crawl back in the same hole you slithered out of and stay there.

    September 14, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Has anybody Googled the words "sarah palin fakes"? Where does anybody get sued for using her picture for graf and corruption. Don't see anybody get sued here, for using "her" picture do you? Sueing for a jaypeg of a flag. You shouldn't of made public domain for downloading.

    September 14, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. gary

    Palin is a disaster. She should stay home with her child.

    September 14, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. jimboob@hotmail.com

    Why won't this ***** just go away...

    September 14, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. Maanav Jhatakia

    Sarah Palin should be sued over just being herself.

    September 14, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Wow, that was intelligent (NOT). And also somehow not a surprise that failin palin would do something like that either.

    September 14, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. PuzzledInPeoria

    The scary part of this story is that some people actually donate money to her PAC.

    September 14, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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