Photog Grecco Suing Dow Jones Over AllThingsD Image

A California photographer claims that the Web site run by The Wall Street Journal’s digital gadget guru Walter Mossberg ripped him off.

Freelance shutterbug Michael Grecco, who has shot for Time, Newsweek and People, among others, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Dow Jones, which owns Mossberg’s technology news site All Things Digital, accusing the company of using his photo of Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page without permission.

The photo, which depicts the search engine CEOs standing in a corner wearing matching suits with sneakers, ran with a jokey 2008 article by All Things D’s co-editor Kara Swisher about Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer’s letter to Yahoo’s Jerry Yang, during a failed takeover bid of the search engine company. The image can still be found in the site’s archives.

“This image was not only used without payment,” said Grecco’s lawyer Edward Greenberg, “[but also] they didn’t even ask. You can’t steal someone else’s work.”

According to his lawyer, Grecco says that although his digital watermark is on the shot, Dow Jones has refused to pay him for the picture.

Dow Jones declined to comment on the suit. Mossberg and Swisher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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