A Rhode Island-based photographer has pursued legal action on claims a group of barbershops used her photographs without permission, recent Houston federal court records show.

Kristen Pierson filed a lawsuit against Buzz567 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on May 31, stating a franchise in Wellesley, Mass., licensed its rights to her works to a third party though it agreed not to.

Per the suit, Pierson and Buzz567 of Wellesley, LLC entered into an agreement in or around July 2012. The contract called for the plaintiff to provide Wellesley with copies of photographs she took, but the copyrights remained with her.

While Wellesley had a limited license to reproduce, publish, and copy her works subject to the terms of the aforementioned agreement, the original petition explains, it could not assign any of its rights to Pierson’s images to another entity.

Pierson alleges that Wellesley granted a request from Regis Corporation to use of the works in question without telling the company that she was the author and owner.

Wellesley purportedly gave fellow franchisees in Bellaire, Katy, and Pearland permission to use the pictures in question.

According to the complaint, these businesses “posted unauthorized copies of and/or derivative works of Ms. Pierson’s Copyrighted Works on their respective Facebook pages and in printed advertising such as brochures, postcards, and referral cards.”

“Ms. Pierson, through the undersigned counsel, has attempted to resolve this dispute with Defendants, but Defendants have stopped responding to communications,” the suit says.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by attorney Aaron Davidson of the law firm Klemchuk LLP in Dallas.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:16-CV-1518

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