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Posted on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 11:21 a.m.

Photographer sues football star and ex-Wolverine Desmond Howard over famous Heisman photo

By Kellie Woodhouse

Former NFL star and University of Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard is being sued for copyright infringement over the alleged misuse of the most iconic photo of his career, the Detroit Free Press reports.


Angela J. Cesere |

Angela J. Cesere |

Photographer Brian Masck is suing the famous sports commentator and ex-Wolverine for using a 1991 photo he took of Howard assuming the Heisman Trohpy pose after he returned a punt 93 yards for touchdown during a Michigan-Ohio State game, the newspaper reported.

Masck, who is also suing Sports Illustrated, according to the Free Press, said he wasn't given credit or offered payment as the photo was repeatedly reused. The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Parties have until March 28 to respond to the lawsuit, which was filed Jan. 18, according to the Free Press.



Terry Star21

Tue, Mar 12, 2013 : midnight

There is a copy write law, that applies instantly to work (photo) such as this. However, that law is limited and expires, perhaps the magazine took advantage of an expiration ? An attorney may know more about this.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

Dude is broke and needs some money

John of Saline

Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

I'd put the photo of Desmond, horizontal, just before catching the ball in the Notre Dame game on 4th down earlier that year, ahead of this one.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

i love that one to-against nd

Blue Marker

Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

I'll have to respectfully disagree. It's a close second to me but nothing is more iconic than the "Hello Heisman" shot talked about in the article.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

I agree


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

My only response to this situation is that it makes me feel old.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

read the linked article - he didn't get a copyright until 20 years later... i do not see this going anywhere after this amount of time


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

By the Berne copyright convention, which the US follows, the photo should be automatically copyrighted at the time he created it even if he didn't file for copyright. That's why the filing bit confuses me.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Toooo late.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

He probably didn't ask Desmond if it was okay to take his picture either.

Blue Marker

Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

Too many lawyers and not enough common sense.


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

He waited 22 yrs to sue?


Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

The original article says that he's only pursuing unauthorized uses for the last three years.