ST. LOUIS – The McCloskeys, who drew national attention for waving guns at protestors back in June have sued a United Press International photographer and the wire service Friday alleging a photo that has risen to international prominence was taken on their property.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the lawsuit, accusing UPI photographer Bill Greenblatt of trespassing to capture the popular confrontation image between the McCloskeys and protesters on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.
The lawsuit was filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
The McCloskeys say their image has grown in popularity across the world with Redbubble, Greenblatt, and UPI profiting from “t-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs’ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs’ consent.”
The couple also said they have received death threats, and additional protesters have come to their property.
“Defendants acted outrageously and beyond all reasonable bounds of decency, with their conduct regarded as atrocious and intolerable by any member of a civilized society,” they said in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit follows UPI’s consideration of its own copyright actions against the couple.
The news service said recently it was considering whether to send a “cease and desist” order to the couple because of their use of the UPI photo as part of a personal greeting card.
The couple faced felony charges for unlawful use of weapons and tampering with physical evidence in Oct. They plead not guilty.