Donald Trump has settled a lawsuit brought by two photographers who claimed his campaign of using their “iconic” picture of a bald eagle without approval, court filings show. The settlement agreement was first reported by the New York Daily News.
In their complaint, the photographers, Wendy Shattil and Robert Rozinski, learned of the alleged copyright infringement while watching news coverage of a Trump campaign rally in February—a supporter was holding up “a printed sign promoting Mr. Trump that appeared to incorporate the Photograph.”
Subsequently, they discovered not only that the Trump campaign was selling merchandise that allegedly incorporated the photograph but also that the campaign encouraged supporters to reuse the image—without the Denver-based photographers’ permission.
According to the complaint, Rozinski took the photograph in 1980, at a moment when “the American bald eagle faced extirpation in North America due to poisonous DDT pesticide use, among other factors.”
“The Photograph captures a piercing, intimate, eye-to-eye moment with this majestic creature with near-perfect symmetry against a flawless sky blue background,” the complaint reads.
“It would be difficult, as perhaps an understatement, to recreate such an image given the challenge of replicating and capturing such a fleeting moment in nature.”