Midtown, New York, New York, United States

The photo behind photo copyright

Oscar Wilde No 18 (1882) was photographed by Napoleon Sarony at his studio at 37 Union Square where he operated from 1877-1896. Celebrity portraits became trendy in the 1860s.

Sarony later sued Burrow-Giles for using lithographs of this photo in an advertisement for Ehrich's (8th Ave and 24th St, NYC) without consent.

The Supreme Court in Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony 111 U.S. 53 (1884) upheld copyright extended to photos, noting that maps and charts were already protected by copyright.

Burrow-Giles was ordered to pay $610 (just over $12,000 in today's dollars).

In its defense, Burrow-Giles argued a photographer is not an author and a photo is not writing. Writing at that time extended to engravings for copyright protection.

The photo behind photo copyright