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Regueira Blog

Daniel Regueira Blog

My quick snippets & in-depth dives on topics ranging from progressive politics, Latin American news, design & tech, Pokémon, and everything between.

The Color Run: Photography Debacle of the Year

For those of you that haven't heard there was a ridiculous suit that was filed, and subsequently settled out of court.

If you haven't read the story Peta Pixel has done a good job of gathering the facts here.

The college photographer Maxwell Johnson took a photo of The Color Run in Miami. The Color Run contacted the young photographer for use of the photo on their Facebook Page. For the following year he shot for them in a semi-employee type of setup.

Somewhere along the way there was a huge miscommunication and The Color Run assumed they could use the original photo in their ad campaigns (globally) without pay or attribution.

Johnson saw this and subsequently freaked out (as he should've) and then asked for ridiculous levels of compensation to get their attention (huge mistake). Because of this ridiculous demand The Color Run counter-sued to try to scare him and get his attention.

From what I understand the countersuit either involved his claim that he worked FOR The Color Run (or) that he photographed The Color Run and that because of their agreement (semi-employed status) he couldn't make money off the photo anyway. Either way they probably would've had no ownership of that photo.

This was later settled out of court and Johnson was compensated for the photo.

Ultimately Johnson should not have been so combative about this whole thing, he was extremely forceful about his demands. Furthermore, The Color Run also should not have countersued. In the end The Color Run hugely in error and compensated Johnson reasonably.

TLDR; Photographer's photo was used in ad campaign for The Color Run and then The Color Run sued HIM.

Daniel Regueira