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Zillow wins bid to slash multimillion-dollar VHT photo copyright verdict

06/23/2017

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Looks like real estate giant Zillow Group may only be on the hook for half of a copyright infringement verdict awarded to real estate photography firm VHT earlier this year. In February, a federal court ordered Zillow Group to pay $8.3 million in statutory and actual damages after a jury found that the real estate company had infringed 28,125 of VHT’s photos. But on Tuesday, Judge James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington in Seattle overruled the jury’s verdict regarding the vast majority of the images and cut VHT’s damages award down to $4.05 million. This latest ruling offers some relief for Zillow Group, but the court nonetheless agreed with the jury that the company willfully infringed thousands of VHT’s photos, possibly for its own financial benefit. In an emailed statement, Zillow Group spokeswoman Emily Heffter told Inman, “We have persistently maintained our belief that this suit was without merit and we are pleased that th…

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