Yikes! As reported by Paidcontent :"Photographer sues BuzzFeed for $3.6M over viral sharing model", Imaging Resource : "Photographer sues BuzzFeed for $3.6 million over image use", and Petapixel: "Photographer Sues BuzzFeed for $3.6M for Using Photo Without Permission" ....a photographer has sued Buzzfeed. For lots of money.
The image which was ganked off the photographers clearly labelled "all rights reserved" flickr page, and posted in a Buzzfeed listicle called the 30 funniest header faces. Buzzfeed did the DMCA thing and removed the image as soon as the Kai Eiselein alerted them to the fact that nobody had asked for permission to use that image. Not good enough! Kai Eiselein is slapping Buzzfeed with a suit anyway, arguing that Buzzfeed encourages people to share, syndicate, source and plain old steal from them - thus causing the image to appear all over the web.
Buzzfeed, Inc. actively encourages its users to share content, regardless of whether or not that content is owned by, or licensed to, Buzzfeed. The plaintiff asserts that Buzzfeed, Inc. is responsible for 61 contributory infringements upon his photograph.
The full suit is embedded at the bottom of the article.
This isn't the first time Buzzfeed is in trouble over copyrighted images. Buzzfeed has been accused of ripping everything off from everywhere: Remix everything Buzzfeed and the plagarism problem, they've been sued for 1.3 million last October, and the age old debate of what to do with images in the digital age gained new momentum. The copy-paste-regurgitate style is one of three reasons Buzzfeed is poisoning the well, but as many lawsuits before them - I doubt this will have any affect at all on the many internet companies that are basing their business proposition on a brave new interpretation of "fair use".