Larry Philpot is a photographer who took a photo of Willie Nelson and made it available under a Creative Commons License which requires users to provide a link to the license, credit the photographer, and specify and changes made to the photo. Philpot brought an infringement suit against Toledo Radio, alleging that Toledo removed identifying metadata and displayed the photo on its website, www.1077wolf.com, without referencing the license and photographer. Toledo filed a motion to dismiss, and then both parties moved for summary judgment.
Toledo moved to dismiss the claims that Toledo materially contributed to the copyright infringement and engaged in vicarious copyright infringement. The court denied Toledo’s motion to dismiss because the complaint was sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Subsequently, the court denied both motions for summary judgment as to copyright infringement because a genuine issue of material fact remained as to whether the fair use and innocent infringer defenses applied.