Update: Suit says $150,000 per infringement. Assuming all twenty-one color-glossy photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one were used in the ebook, the requested damages are $3.15 million.
The suit alleges Ms. Altman shot twenty-one photographs of different Sweet Potato Queens and "food dishes" for the book authored by Jill Connor Browne. It is not known if the photographs were glossy or had a paragraph on the back of each one. Ms. Altman copyrighted the photographs in May 2002. She claims she "licensed the use of the photographs to Random House" for use in a "printed edition of a book with a physical spine." Ms. Altman also states she issued a license to the publisher to use the photographs in an audio book format as well.
However, technology apparently bumped heads with copyright law as Random House published an ebook with the photographs. Ms. Altman states she did not give permission to Random House to publish the photos in the ebook nor did the company pay for a license to use them in such a fashion. She argues since no contract to use them for an ebook was signed by the two parties as they did for the printed and audio versions of the book, the court should order Random House to compensate her for her work. The lawsuit requests $150,000 in damages. Judge Keith Ball granted a request by Random House for more time to file an answer to the complaint. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both offer electronic versions of the book. Ms. Altman refused to comment on the lawsuit.