Bryant v. Gordon, No. 05 C 3066, 2007 WL 461326 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 8, 2007) (Kennelly, J).
Judge Kennelly granted summary judgment for defendants, Gordon and Mach 1 LLC ("Mach 1"), on plaintiff’s, Bryant, claims of copyright infringement based upon copyrighted goods Mach 1 purchased free of encumbrances in a bankruptcy auction. Because Bryant had notice that copies of posters including his copyrighted photograph of U.S. Army snipers in Ghillie suits (the "Bryant photo") would be sold at the auction and he did not object, he had no claim of infringement for those copies. The Court denied summary judgment for both Bryant and defendants on their cross-motions for summary judgment regarding infringement of a picture taken by defendant, Urtis, (the "Urtis photo") which allegedly copied the Bryant photo. The Court held that the Bryant photo was copyrightable based upon Bryant’s choice of composition, lighting, camera angle and other factors, but denied summary judgment as to whether the Urtis photo copied the Bryant photo. The Court noted that both photos were "taken from the same angle, perspective, and with the same scene and terrain." There were differences between the photos, but the Court could not say as a matter of law that the differences would be sufficiently obvious to an ordinary person. The Court, therefore, held that a reasonable jury could find that the Urtis photo copied the Bryant photo or that it did not and denied summary judgment.