Ken Light won Round One in the small claims division of the Superior Court of California in San Francisco on December 23. He claimed unfair business practices under state law because Current TV used his 1994 image of Texas death row inmate Cameron Todd Willingham without permission. Light won and Current TV was ordered to pay a retroactive licensing fee and damages to the tune of $588.

Well, Gore survived the count and is up for Round Two. Current TV are claiming their use was “fair use”. Conor Risch of PDN Pulse:

Current TV has appealed to San Francisco Superior Court, where its lawyers will be able to mount a more vigorous defense against Light’s claim.

That will cost Current Media a lot more than simply paying the small claims judgment. But the media company has a self-interested principle to defend: the right to use news photos at will without permission, and without payment. A trial date has been set for April 14.

Again, stay tuned folks …