Mississippi Ex-Gov. Barbour Sued Over Photos in Katrina Book | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi Ex-Gov. Barbour Sued Over Photos in Katrina Book

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A photographer is suing former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, saying he used her copyrighted work without permission in his 2015 book, "America's Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina."

Suzi Altman is demanding $350,000 in the federal lawsuit she filed Nov. 10 against Barbour and the book's publisher, University Press of Mississippi.

The lawsuit says the book uses at least two photos Altman took as a contract worker for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency after the storm struck in August 2005. Altman, who lives in Rankin County, says she retained copyright on her post-Katrina photos. The lawsuit also says some of Altman's photos were used, without permission, in slide shows to promote the book.

Attorneys for University Press had not responded to the suit by Thursday.

Barbour told The Associated Press in a brief interview Thursday that he was not involved in getting the rights to use photos for the book.

"Some other people tended to that," Barbour said.

Barbour was Republican National Committee chairman in the mid-1990s and governor from 2004-12.

Barbour's book, co-written by Jackson political consultant Jere Nash, focuses on Mississippi's first year after Katrina, when Barbour exerted his influence as a longtime Washington lobbyist to secure billions of federal dollars for recovery. It recounts a special session when state legislators changed laws to help schools and local governments get back on track and to let coastal casinos move a short distance inland rather than requiring them to rebuild on floating barges.

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