September 14th, 2013
04:32 PM ET
1 year 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. rs1201

    Talk about pettiness...wow...

    September 14, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. Nna

    Palin is a socialist. She should go back to Soviet Union

    September 14, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. karen503

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

    NO ONE gets "an immediate response" from the Palin team, EVER. Sometimes you get no response at all.

    But that's mostly because her consultants (ghostwriters) are busily drafting a long whining diatribe about how she's just an everyday housewife, a hockey mom, cookin' and bakin' and barbecuing', and doesn't have time to worry about corporate greed (honoring copyright restrictions), and she's the real victim here being attacked by the evil lamestream media in the corporate personhood of the North Jersey Media Group.

    September 14, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Bob Head

    Politically motivated drivel. Nothing to see here.

    September 14, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. Kevin

    First!

    September 14, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Palin does not understand laws or rights or anything to do matters of intelligence, manners, or protocol. Ignorance has gotten her into many scandals in her own state, in being on a national ticket, and pretending to be something she is not. I hoped she is sued so she realizes "being a maverick" gets you into a lot of trouble if you don't think first.

    September 14, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  7. Chris

    Always knew she was a liar, but a thief too!

    September 14, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  8. The Doctor

    Have to appreciate 9/11 just a bit. After all, even though 2,977 people died, over the past decade, it's been one of the biggest cash-in money makers/grabs of all times. That is when you don't consider the financial impact it made to the economy and stock-market and such. ^_^

    September 14, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Zon

    How can this woman expect to be a leader when she is so dumb she can't even follow copyright laws?

    September 14, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. Drakenfly

    YEA ! A frivolous lawsuit past on to the taxpayers thanks to the democrats!

    September 14, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. Name

    Lawsuits for anything these days

    September 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. Danny James

    I really don't know what this all about for the picture referred to in the article is all over the facebook media as coming from the Country Music Nation web site as well as possible others. Are they going to sue the whole country.

    September 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. The Doctor

    PS – Not that I'd ever dream of defending Palin in a million years... didn't that same photo get spread all around the interwebs!? Can't imagine every single usage has "permission" - but again, there you have it... nothing like staking caims to property over such a tragedy... got to make sure to keep those royalties alive and health after all... what good is a chaotic tragedy that costs thousands of people their lives if you can't at least capitalize on it, aye!?

    September 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. *sigh*

    Stop paying attention to this waste of space!!!!!!! She's as useless as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

    September 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. edpeters101

    So Sarah Palin is a thief, that indeed gives thieves a bad name!

    September 14, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. jimatmad

    Republicans are always taking things that don't belong to them.

    September 14, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. D in Az

    Shame on north Jersey media group for making a profit on our country's tragady

    September 14, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. PR

    Palin is a freaking airhead. She needs to go back to Alaska and service the oil workers. That's all she is good for.

    September 14, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Jesse from SC

    I've got no love for Sarah Palin but I'll say that this country is just being torn apart by the greed of these huge corporations who claim ownership on anything they can get away with. North Jersey Media Group is a great example of this. I hope they enjoy fleecing Mrs Palin just to make an extra buck.

    September 14, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. katahdin

    Republicans like stealing. They're constantly being asked not to use songs at their rallies without the permission of the artists.

    September 14, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. S. B. Stein

    It doesn't surprise me that she is one of these people that wrap themselves in the flag and seemingly demand that everyone do as they think. We must be careful of these kind of people.

    September 14, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  22. peter grenader

    Now now Sarah...I know you hate big government and all... but copyrights are one of the pillars in which our free capitalism is built upon and very big among our founders

    September 14, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  23. Burt Ward

    A PAC is a non-profit. It has no profits.

    September 14, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  24. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Sarah Failin' Palin can't read. That's why she can't return messages. She doesn't understand plain English either complicating things even further. She tried to use 3X5 cards in public once, but got frustrated when Katie Couric asked her what newspapers she reads. The question agitated Palin, who can't read anything at all, let alone a newspaper.

    September 14, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  25. bassman

    Its not exactly covering up what happened in the Benghazi attack. I say we flog the woman. (he said tongue in cheek)

    September 14, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26