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Netflix sued for copyright infringement in ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘How It Ends’

Written by Mekael Rahman on 18 September 2018

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Sean R Heavey, a photographer from Glasgow has filed a lawsuit against the world's leading internet entertainment service provider, Netflix, Inc. The said lawsuit concerning copyright infringement, claims that the media giant employed the photographer’s supercell photo for the storms depicted in Stranger Things and How It Ends.

After recognising a cloud shown in episode three of Stranger Things, Heavey shared a side-by-side comparison photo of both storms on social media and stated the following:

So I would like to ask you all once again...Do you think the cloud in the top "Strange Things" image is my photograph? Netflix is saying the one they used is "a similar cloud formation" and I can't copyright storm clouds in general. But I call BS because it looks to me to not be "a similar cloud formation" but MY cloud formation. So what do you all think?”

Heavey filed the lawsuit in US District Court in Great Falls and used the services of an attorney who has previously dealt with visual artists and specialises in copyright infringement. The lawsuit has emphasised on all the hard work that was done in order to acquire the supercell photo; the photographer had tracked and followed the storm for hours and subsequently combined four vertical panoramic photos to illustrate the entirety of the storm. According to the official complaint, “[t]he photo is the result of numerous sequences of experimentation by Sean with various framing, exposure, shutter speed and movement options.”

The photographer had registered his supercell photo with the United States Copyright Office in November 2010 and the lawsuit is intended to prevent Netflix from utilising the photo without the owner’s permission. Moreover, in additional to his legal fees, Heavey is also seeking damages of an unspecified amount.

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