Nashville-area couple Bernard and Pamela Holland are suing Cox Media Group for WHPT, Tampa’s use of a photo of their son Adam – who has Down Syndrome – as part of the artwork for a feature called “Retarded News.”
Here’s the back story: The photo of Adam Holland was taken in 2004 and posted by an art teacher – apparently legitimately – showing Adam holding up a drawing he’d made. The photo was used by WHPT and altered so the paper Adam is holding reads “Retarded News.”
The Holland family learned about the image in 2012 and contacted the station.
At that time, program director Michael Sharkey explained the bit was not about making fun of handicapped people but about stupid things people do. He apologized to the family and the photo’s use was discontinued.
Now, the family is suing Cox, Oswego, New York-based Sign Generator (which also used the image) and a Minnesota man who’s also posted the image on his Flickr account and made derogatory comments about Adam.
Talker’s own legal department goes on to explain the copyright and other legal issues involved.