Two photographers from Portland Oregon have filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against journalist and author Andy Ngô. The photographers claim that Ngô shared their videos of protests in Portland on his Twitter account.
Andy Ngô has amassed a following in conservative circles for documenting riots and other events from BLM supporters, Antifa, and other groups.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court of Portland. It cites two videos taken by the plaintiffs, Melissa Lewis and Grace Morgan, during protests in Portland. The plaintiffs want the court to order Ngô to stop sharing their videos and for financial compensation.
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.
The suit claims that Ngô “has made a practice of illegally copying and uploading plaintiffs’ videos onto his own Twitter account.”
The suit also notes that Ngô is popular in “right-wing” circles, and the photographers are “left-wing.” As a result, they allege they are “are deluged with harassing comments” when their videos are shared.
“This has resulted in instances where (Morgan and Lewis) were physically attacked by (Ngô’s) followers,” the suit adds.
The lawyer representing Ngô, Harmeet K Dhillon, claimed that Ngô did not violate Twitter’s rules and described the lawsuit as “frivolous.”
“The plaintiffs shared their videos publicly on Twitter, a platform designed for exactly their purpose, and Mr. Ngô commented on this publicly posted content using Twitter platform tools, not somehow surreptitiously downloading and uploading the clips as the plaintiffs falsely claim,” Dhillon said in a statement.
The complaint appears to be somewhat contradictory, in that it expresses that using a standard Twitter feature to share videos in a way that credits the original tweeter is causing them harassment but also that sharing their videos themselves is copyright infringement.
“Being an effective journalist means people will try to silence you. I was beaten several times by antifa. Now two antifa videographers in Portland filed a lawsuit against me. Why? Because I retweeted them on Twitter,” Ngô commented, showing screenshots of times he used Twitter’s sharing features to share the videos.