September 14th, 2013
04:32 PM ET
10 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. Bribarian

    liberals dont have lives

    September 14, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. truthteller

    Can't she just disappear already?

    September 14, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. vinster76

    what a gorgeous woman!

    September 14, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Freeactuse

    Its in Every Americans right to use photos once there on the internet unless they have a copyright embossed on the front of the picture it is not copyright infringement . Im not a lawyer

    September 14, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Andrew

    She is a stupid person. The end.

    September 14, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. MaryM

    Sarah, just go away.

    September 14, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Debby Via

    Does she not understand copyright laws? Oh I forgot she doesn't.

    September 14, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Gilmore

    Do they also own the pictures of people leaping out of the buildings? $$$$creepy$$$$$.

    September 14, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Palni

    Finally some good news about _____ (I try not to use her name)

    September 14, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Lagos

    "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."

    Holy cow, someone at CNN actually has journalistic integrity? Thank you, Sho!

    September 14, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. MrTeflon

    Sleezy Sarah as usual..

    September 14, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. ijjji

    Thanks for giving her the media exposure that makes illegal use of copyrighted work entirely worth it for her.

    September 14, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Joe

    I was just thinking the other day that it was nice not to have to hear about this silly twit anymore.

    September 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. sagiru s.umar

    I love safina.

    September 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Elise Lozon

    Wow... who cares.

    September 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Joe Plumber

    I miss you Sarah! Holla back girl.

    September 14, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. rufus floyd

    Why can't this witch just back to Alaska and get in her igloo.

    September 14, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. vinster76

    nine minutes later, she still looks better than ever!

    September 14, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. SmartPotato

    Sarah Palin did something dishonest? Shocker.

    September 14, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. steve harnack

    Bot these "free market" apostles sure don't have much respect for other people's property, do they?

    September 14, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. mike

    Merica!

    September 14, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. asdassad

    As much as I'm not a Palin fan, demanding royalties for usage of an iconic photo stemming from a national tragedy is unfortunate. It's profiteering from tragedy in usage that's meant for remembrance and not profit.

    September 14, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. good

    sure that turd out of existence!

    September 14, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Victor

    Where is this picture? Horrible article

    September 14, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Sambell1

    Excuse Sarah, she is illiterate and couldn't read the lawyer's letter!

    September 14, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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