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Palin sued over alleged 9/11 photo use

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Sarah Palin. Photo courtesy: CNN.

Sarah Palin. Photo courtesy: CNN.

NEW YORK (CNN) – Sarah Palin and her political action committee are being sued by a newspaper publisher over the use of an “iconic” Sept. 11 photograph.

In legal documents obtained by CNN.  the North Jersey Media Group claims that Palin used their “WTC Flag Raising Photograph” without permission when it was allegedly posted on her Facebook page and the website for her political action committee, SarahPAC.

The photograph, which depicts three firefighters raising an American flag over the rubble of the World Trade Center, was taken September 11, 2001, by Thomas E. Franklin, a staff photographer at the publisher’s subsidiary, The Record, in New Jersey. CNN Films recently produced a documentary, entitled “The Flag,” that explored the story of the banner, which went missing.

The photograph has drawn national attention – being made into a stamp in 2002, and later enshrined in the Library of Congress, according to the photographer’s website.

Screen captures sent to CNN by the publishing company show the picture on Palin’s Facebook page, embossed with the words, “We Will Never Forget.” CNN did not, however, independently view the photos on Palin’s websites before they were reportedly taken down.

“It’s important to enforce our copyright on this iconic photo,” Jennifer Borg, general counsel of the North Jersey Media Group, told CNN. “When neither Ms. Palin nor her PAC responded to our demand letter to remove the photo, we were left with no choice but to seek redress through the courts.”

In the federal lawsuit, filed Friday, the publisher asks that Palin and SarahPAC be forced to stop using the photograph and pay damages or defendants’ profits.

CNN reached out to Palin and her representatives for comment Saturday, but did not receive an immediate response.

by Sho Wills, CNN

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