Photographer may bring suit against Sconnie Nation

Madison-based photographer Michael Kienitz, quoted in this story by The Daily Cardinal, says he will file charges against Sconnie Nation, a popular State Street clothing retailer, over their unauthorized use of one of his photographs on a t-shirt.

Kienitz’s photograph of Madison mayor Paul Soglin, which appears on the City of Madison website, was incorporated into the design of a t-shirt and tank top. It sells for $24.99 and presumably relates to the mayor’s less-than-enthusiastic views on the annual Mifflin Street block party.

Sconnie Nation’s co-owner Troy Vosseler told The Daily Cardinal in an e-mail that his company’s use of the photograph falls under the Fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law, saying the shirt is “timely, social commentary.”

It also appears Sconnie Nation has reproduced photographs of Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers players, and it is unclear if they have been licensed.

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