Photographs of celebrity businesswoman Karren Brady are at the centre of a legal row between a picture agency and a magazine publishing group.
Photographer Tyson Sadlo and syndication company Celebrity Pictures say their shots of Karren Brady were used in two magazines without consent, which infringed their copyright.
Now freelance photographer Sadlo and Celebrity Pictures are suing publishers Boston Hannah and Oxygen 10, seeking injunctions banning them from infringing copyright and demanding damages.
Businesswoman Brady, 42, is Lord Sugar’s boardroom assistant on the BBC TV show The Apprentice.
She was formerly managing director of Birmingham City Football Club and is now vice chairman of West Ham United, and also writes regular magazine and newspaper columns, and sits on the board of Arcadia with Sir Philip Green.
The row centres around a set of photographs of the mother of two taken by Sadlo during a half-day shoot for a fee of £500 and £250 for post production work.
The pictures, taken in July 2010, were for use in Today’s Business Woman magazine and Sadlo says he did not assign copyright to either Boston Hannah or Oxygen 10.
Celebrity Pictures argues that it owns the copyright in the shots taken by Sadlo under an agreement made with him in 2006.
Last October Sadlo discovered that one of the photographs he had taken had been used in a Bupa health magazine produced by John Brown Media Group, and had been supplied by Boston Hannah, according to a High Court writ.
He then found that another picture had been used on the Celebrity Angels website, run by Boston Hannah and Oxygen10.
Boston Hannah, which publishes various magazines, websites, and digital publications, claimed it owned the copyright in the pictures but produced no documents to back up its claim, when contacted by Sadlo, the court will hear.
When solicitors for Celebrity Pictures and Sadlo wrote to Boston Hannah, the company replied with a string of emails saying the complaint should be directed to its sister company Oxygen10, which publishes various ‘female-focused’magazines.
Oxygen10 replied to a legal letter saying it owned the copyright in the photographs, but Sadlo and Celebrity Pictures dispute this and say their copyright has been infringed.
The acts at the centre of the legal battle were committed under a common design between Boston Hannah and Oxygen10, who are jointly liable for all acts of copyright infringement, it is alleged.
Sadlo and Celebrity Pictures seek a declaration that their copyright has been infringed, an injunction banning Boston Hannah and Oxygen10 from infringing copyright, and orders forcing them to hand over all items whose use would be a breach of the injunction.
They also seek an inquiry into damages or an account of profits, and payment of all sums found due.
The writ was issued by solicitor Adam Glass of Davenport Lyons.