September 14th, 2013
04:32 PM ET
7 years 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.

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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. Bill Davis

    She's such an uneducated idiot...

    September 14, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Portia Poddy


    September 14, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. 7734100

    I would love to slap the chit out of these idiots.

    September 14, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. bob

    Sue for 365 million

    September 14, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Andres

    That is the Federal Copyright Law, Ms Palin. You infringe copyrights? a pirate, you? time to pay up now.

    September 14, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. rs

    See? This is the problem with our campaign finance laws and Citizen's United SC decision. Palin will never run for a national or state office again and win. She is too well known as a radical lunatic. What is she doing fundraising? She has no issues (well, she is for secession, and sedition, but otherwise....), all she is doing is milking the poor fools who vote for the GOP against their better interests. Just like cheap televangelists taking old ladies' social security money in pledges. She is little more than a leech.

    September 14, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. edvhou812

    She'd get a simple cease and desist letter if she were a Democrat.

    September 14, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. jimatmad

    Republicans are always looking for free stuff that they don't earn, or make themselves, or want to pay for. They're always getting in trouble for stealing rock songs for their campaigns, too.

    Ms Palin is the Welfare Queen of campaign photos.

    September 14, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Wade

    PURE BULL! If Hilalry would have done this the Liberal press would have said nothing!

    September 14, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. historyspeaks10

    sarah sarah sarah, will please take your good 'ol buddy maverick and just go away? please?!!

    September 14, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. kariorit

    This is so stupid..... I saw this picture a million times on 9/11. Are they going to sue everyone or just the people they dislike?

    September 14, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Rupert

    They probably wouldn't have said a word if the New York Times or the Huff Post had used the photo.

    September 14, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. JasonH

    I wonder if they are going to go after the thousands of other Americans that did the same thing with that photo and several like it? This is a frivolous lawsuit.

    September 14, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. Mr.Texas

    The media can post any picture and scream Freedom of speech, but everyone else is EXEMPT??? Who is really the RAT here? I don't think it is Palin!

    September 14, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. Paul Veal

    What, is the copy writer afraid they will lose money here? I'm putting it on my FaceBook- Putting ownership on this photo is insane-

    September 14, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Chris

    Why does this old bat have any relevance? She now, like always before, holds no interest in the American mind.

    September 14, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Hooligan

    it's kind of a petty suit... but then again Palin is a petty human being.

    Hope it sticks.

    September 14, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. axby

    911 should not be exploited for personal gains.

    September 14, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Dave

    Woof woof...the liberal media barking dogs are sounding more and more like poodles than bloodhounds of years past.

    September 14, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. She has Ashton Kutcher on her PAC

    Who said, "I've never quit my job until I had the next one."

    Too bad Sarah Palin didn't take that same choice – to not QUIT her job before she had a new one (or until she was thrown in prison for her malfeasance in the last one she had).

    September 14, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    They are certainly afraid of I thought she had less than adequate intelligence...

    September 14, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. glaird

    In a civilized society, the North Media Jersey Group could simply ask Ms. Palin to remove the photo. Instead, they force her to endure legal fees to answer court summons', not to mention the media groups own outrageous legal expenses. Why? To be colossal b**th**'s.
    Wow, I'm sure impressed enough to side with North Media Jersey Group's political thinking (not).

    September 14, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. Me

    Sarah who?

    September 14, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. farsi afraid the Democrats (CNN) are....of such a (according to Democrats) less than intelligent woman.......CNN prefers women who bring their own strap ons

    September 14, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Hilarious really when you consider that there are virtually thousands and thousands of people using that picture "illegally" then. Are they going to go after every person who has it posted or just Palin?

    September 14, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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