Toma v. Motley Crue et al., No. 08-3479 (N.D. Ill., Filed June 17, 2008)

The purported owner of the copyright in photos taken of members of Motley Crue way back in 1981 has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that the band, Universal Music Group and Singatures Network have committed copyright infringement. [Read the Complaint] Interesting to see UMG, who is frequently on the dishing-it-out side in so many of the file sharing lawsuits now being put in the position of taking it.

The claims in the lawsuit are pretty straightforward, and the complaint is written in typical federal pleading bare bones style. In a nutshell, plaintiff Toma allegedly acquired the copyright in the photos through assignment from the photgrapher, one Michael Pinter (though Toma didn’t seek registration until March of this year). The defendants are alleged to have committed infringement by “publishing and selling” copies of the images.

Toma seeks actual damages plus costs and attorney’s fees (not sure of the basis for an attorney’s fee award given the timing of registration) as well as injunctive relief from any futher infringement.