“It’s the archive that’s at stake,” Angelo Grima, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for the National Geographic Society, said during a panel on digital rights at the Magazine Publishers of America’s Magazines 24/7 conference at the Hearst Tower Thursday. “We’ll go to the Supreme Court if we have to, because our archive is that important to us.”
The litigation, now entering its 11th year, has seen more twists than a John Grisham novel. The 11th Circuit first ruled in 2001 in favor of Jerry Greenberg, a freelance photographer whose work had appeared in National Geographic (in 1962, 1968 and 1971) and then on CD. Subsequent cases in the 2nd Circuit ruled in favor of National Geographic. In 2004, a Florida judge awarded Greenburg $400,000 in damages; National Geographic appealed. Last year, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit overruled the 2001 decision in favor of National Geographic, but Greenburg asked for—and was granted—a full court review.
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