Affordable Aerial Photography, Inc. v. Home Solutions Fla LLC

Southern District of Florida, flsd-9:2019-cv-80379

Declaration of Robert Stevens

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA WEST PALM BEACH DIVISION CASE NO.: 9:19-cv-80379-DMM AFFORDABLE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, INC., Plaintiff, v. HOME SOLUTIONS FLA LLC, Defendant. DECLARATION OF ROBERT STEVENS I, Robert Stevens, declare as follows: 1. I am over the age of 18 and otherwise competent to testify. I make the following statements based on personal knowledge. 2. I reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. I am an experienced professional photographer and make a living from photography. Through AAP, I provide high-end real estate photography services to real estate brokers and agents in South Florida. 3. I am AAP's principal photographer and its founder. My work is sought after by real estate professionals throughout South Florida. For the past eight years, I have photographed some of the most expensive real estate listings in U.S. history, including Donald Trump's mega- mansion in Palm Beach listed for $125 million. From Palm Beach to California, the Bahamas and New York, I have been contracted to photograph the estates of Madonna, Celine Dion, Don King, Greg Norman, Rod Stewart, Ivana Trump, James Patterson, Alexander Haig, Ann Downey, Frank McKinney, Bill Gates, Tommy Lee Jones, Bryant Gumble and Chris Evert. 4. The techniques that I use are difficult to execute effectively. My photos are made using special aerial photography capture techniques that employ drones or other technology to capture photographs from angles that would not otherwise be possible. 5. I created two photographs entitled "3175 Cove Rd low balloon aerial 2012 AAP" and "2100 S Ocean Blvd. 04-05-06", which are shown below and referred to herein as the "Works". 2 6. I registered the Works with the Register of Copyrights on February 10, 2014 and April 8, 2018 and was assigned the registration numbers VA 1-896-876 and VA 2-104-315, respectively. The certificates of Registration are attached hereto as Exhibit 1. 7. AAP owns all rights, title, and interest, including copyrights, in and to the Works by nature of both written assignment by me to AAP and by nature of the fact that the Works were works for hire taken on behalf of AAP. 8. When I created the Works, I applied copyright management information consisting of the words "© Robert Stevens" on the bottom left corner and the bottom right corner of the Works, respectively. 9. Significant technical attributes were required to make the Works including: monitoring the environment with regard to atmospheric conditions, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation; extensive image location scouting to identify potential photo 3 locations, angles, elevations, accessibility, and security issues; obtaining authorizations to secure access to private property; and using advanced photo exposure control, both in-camera and via post-production software, to ensure a common brightness, contract, clarity, color temperature, color saturation, color tonality, and image noise reduction. 10. The Works are scarce not only due to their high quality but also the unique techniques applied to achieve such an amazing result. 11. The typical range of fees I receive for creating and licensing the right to make non-exclusive commercial use (meaning use for purposes of advertising or promoting the licensee's business) and displaying on the internet of one of my copyrighted photographs similar in quality and popularity to the Works is approximately $1,000.00, per photograph, per year. 12. It is my understanding that HOME SOLUTIONS FLA LLC ("Home Solutions") is a Florida based company that owns, operates and manages the commercial website found at the domain name 13. On a date after the Works were created, Home Solutions copied the Works without my permission. Evidence of Home Solutions' infringement is attached hereto as Exhibit 2. 14. Home Solutions has never been licensed to use the Works for any purpose. 15. After Home Solutions copied the Works, it made further copies and distributed the Works on the internet to promote the sale of goods and its services. 16. Had Home Solutions hired AAP to create and license the Works and to reproduce and display the Works on its website, I would have charged at least $1,000.00 per photograph, per year to use the Works. 4 17. The ability of Home Solutions to reproduce, modify, distribute and display the copyrighted Works for its own commercial benefit without compensation to me greatly impairs the market value of the Works since others competing with that business, or in related business areas, will not want to obtain а license to my Works if they are already associated with а competing business. Similarly, potential licensees of my copyrighted photographs will not want to pay my license fees if they see other commercial enterprises taking and using my Works for its own commercial purposes without paying any fee at all. 18. The Works have lost significant value to its scarcity by the widespread dissemination resulting from Home Solutions' infringement. 19. I believe my actual damages to be $12,000.00 per year after considering a scarcity multiplier of 6 to the licensing fee of $1,000 per photograph per year. I swear of affirm the foregoing is true and correct under penalties of perjury. DATED: September 16, 2019 Robert Stevens 5