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UPI looks at photo copyright issues with McCloskeys' greeting cards

UPI looks at photo copyright issues with McCloskeys' greeting cards

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PROTEST

Mark and Patricia McCloskey at their home during June 28, 2020, protest. The McCloskey's on Nov. 6, 2020 sued over the dissemination of this image, alleging it was taken on their property (Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI).

Suspicion of a copyright violation seems small-caliber compared to felony firearms charges, but Mark and Patricia McCloskey may be looking at that legal tangle as well.

United Press International is considering whether to send a "cease and desist" order to the couple because of their use of a UPI photo as part of a personal greeting card, a news service official said.

The photo in question was taken by Bill Greenblatt, UPI's photographer in St. Louis.

Greenblatt captured the image while he was covering a protest June 28 in the Central West End of St. Louis. The confrontation arose when protesters marched up Portland Place, a private street, and were met by the armed McCloskeys, who were on their lawn.

Then in September, the couple made new waves on social media when they were confronted by a few protesters as they picked up greeting cards at a local print shop. That set-to was then reported by numerous news outlets.

(Note: The video contains foul language)

During that incident, Mark McCloskey handed a protester a greeting card that displays the UPI photo on its cover.

Pat Benic, UPI's director of photography in Washington, said a complaint was made that the photo was being used without permission.

"So I kicked that upstairs to the legal department, and I can't say anything more," he said. Greenblatt, the local photographer, also declined comment.

The McCloskeys could not be reached Monday for comment. Their attorney, Albert Watkins, said he was unaware of the situation.

The McCloskeys, both attorneys, were indicted in October by a St. Louis grand jury on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence in connection with the June protest.

The couple pleaded not guilty to those charges earlier this month. Gov. Mike Parson has said he would pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted.

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