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Desmond Howard and photographer reach agreement in lawsuit concerning 1991 photo

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
Howard, photographer settle dispute over '91 photo
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FILE - In this Dec. 14, 1991 file photo, University of Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard poses with the Heisman Trophy at New York's Downtown Athletic Club. On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, it was announced that Howard will get the copyright to a famous photo of him in a Heisman Trophy pose after scoring a touchdown against Ohio State in 1991. Attorneys for Howard and photographer Brian Masck announced the agreement. Masck still is expected to benefit from commercial use of the photo, which was taken when Howard played for Michigan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Over a year ago, former Michigan star and current ESPN analyst Desmond Howard was sued by the photographer who took the iconic photo of Howard doing the Heisman pose following a 93-yard punt return for touchdown in 1991 against Ohio State.

The photographer, Brian Masck, claimed the photo was being used by Howard and other media entities without permission, but Masck and Howard’s attorneys announced that they had come to an agreement on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, Howard will get the copyright for the photo, but Masck is “expected to benefit from commercial use of the photo.” Additionally, the agreement “does not end (Masck’s) lawsuits against other parties including Sports Illustrated, Amazon.com Inc., Nissan North America and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.”

Sports Illustrated used the photo for a Nissan advertising campaign in 2010 and 2011, while Masck’s lawsuit also claimed that Wal-Mart and Amazon sold the image on their websites without permission.

Howard, the 1991 Heisman winner who spent 11 seasons playing in the NFL, told the Detroit Free Press last year that he previously tried to buy the rights to the photo, but the $200,000 price tag was too steep.

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