The estate of Vivian Maier, who was a US street photographer, has filed a subpoena against online marketplace Redbubble to identify alleged infringers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division on Wednesday, March 29, the estate’s claim said that third parties are selling unauthorised reproductions of her work.
It added that the users, six of whom are named, have sold merchandise, including greeting cards, featuring the reproductions.
In October last year, the estate submitted a DMCA notification to Redbubble.
The estate, in its notification, added that users had sold postcards under the heading “Vivian Maier Postcards” which falsely suggested that the photos were taken by Maier and/or that she authorised the sale.
“This false association violates the estate’s rights in its federally registered ‘Vivian Maier’ trademark, is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace, and constitutes unfair competition,” said the notification.
Maier, who passed away in 2009, took photos in Chicago and New York City over the course of five decades.
She left more than 100,000 negatives, and the photographs were unprinted until they were discovered by collectors.
Her work became popular after one of the collectors posted a link to the photos on image-sharing website Flickr in 2009.