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Sarah Palin and SarahPAC sued over use of copyrighted 9/11 photo

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate and half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is being sued for improperly using a photograph on her popular Facebook page, according to a complaint filed Friday in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported.

North Jersey Media Group, Inc. is suing Palin and her super PAC, SarahPAC, over use of the photo, a well-known image of three firefighters hoisting an American flag at Ground Zero in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. The photo was taken by Thomas E. Franklin, a photographer for The Record, a newspaper published by North Jersey Media Group.

The complaint said that Palin used the photo on her political figure Facebook page, which boasts more than 3.6 million followers. As of 3 p.m. Alaska time Friday, the post was still on Palin's Facebook page. By 3:45, it had been removed. 

The photo had received more than 140,000 "likes" and more than 1,500 comments before being taken down. It was branded with the words "We will never forget. September 11, 2001," and featured a SarahPAC logo in the lower right corner.

The complaint also alleges that the photo appeared at the SarahPAC website, Bloomberg reported. The media group is alleging copyright infringement and seeks to bar Palin and her PAC from using the image. 

The controversy comes as Palin continues to tease about a possible run at Democratic Alaska Sen. Mark Begich's seat in 2014. Earlier this week, Politico noted worries about a potential "civil war" among Alaska's GOP if Palin were to hop in the race, competing with tea party candidate Joe Miller, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and a possible candidate in current Resource Commissioner Dan Sullivan. Gov. Sean Parnell announced Thursday that Sullivan was resigning his post, fueling speculation about a run.

Read more, at Bloomberg.