Blog Post

Miami Heat owner sues Google, blogger over ‘unflattering’ photo

In an act of childishness worthy of his championship players, a minority owner of the Miami Heat NBA team has filed a copyright suit against a blogger for posting a photo of him. He is also suing Google (s goog) for refusing to take the photo down.

In a complaint filed in Miami federal court this month, Raanan Katz is demanding an injunction and damages over a photo that shows him court side with his tongue hanging out. The photo is posted on a blog devoted to reporting alleged rip-offs involving Katz’s commercial real estate operations in Miami. The lawsuit shows the photo “partially distorted due to its unflattering nature” :

The unredacted photo is still posted on the blog, RKAssociatesUSA. We are posting it below pursuant to copyright’s fair use law:

This is the second time that Katz has sued the blogger. Last summer, Miami news outlets reported that Katz filed a defamation lawsuit against “John Doe” over critical blog posts. That lawsuit appears to have failed, likely on the grounds that Katz is a public figure and that US law is reluctant to chill free speech.

The copyright lawsuit, therefore, appears to be a backdoor for Katz to go after the blogger all the same.

Katz’s complaint lists the blogger as Irina Chevaldina. It is unclear whether he obtained her identity through a court order or other means. The blog is devoted to outlining Katz’s alleged misdeeds and its author has dedicated a number of the posts to the memory of grandparents who were killed by Nazis.

Google is involved because the search giant reportedly refused to take the photo down after receiving a DMCA copyright takedown notice. Internet companies that host content posted by others can lose their so-called “safe harbor” immunity if they refuse to comply with such notices.

Here’s a copy of the complaint:

Katz Complaint
(Image by Nina Malyna via Shutterstock)

7 Responses to “Miami Heat owner sues Google, blogger over ‘unflattering’ photo”

  1. This guy suing is the biggest bitch I ever seen if your at a public event beware people are watching don’t pick your nose scratch your ass or grab your nuts shut the fuck up bitch! P.S. sure me for talking shit to you

  2. Kris Tuttle

    I thought the rules ran along the lines of if you are just a normal person then a release form is needed for someone to use your picture online or in some way. Is that true? But then if you are deemed “famous” or something like that people can use photos of you as they wish. Seems like this is a case of someone famous but I’m not sure. And since the photo is actual then what would be complaint be? The document you posted doesn’t say much other than “a lawsuit has been filed against you.” Anybody know the law around this?


    WTF ? Sometime jokes are the rarest form of flattery. Where’s your humor ? You won. Maybe you shouldn’t have. Trade LeBron to the Knicks. You’ll never have to worry about that again.