Desmond Howard Being Sued for Using Photo of Himself in Iconic Heisman Pose

Desmond HowardDesmond Howard could wind up paying for the Heisman.

The former NFL and Michigan University football star spoke with the Detroit Free Press about a lawsuit brought against him in January surrounding a photo of his iconic Heisman pose. The suit is over rights to the photo.

The photographer, Brian Masck, who took the shot is suing Howard and a number of other entities, claiming they sold and used the photo without his permission or paying him.

Howard used the photo on his website, and said he was unaware he was breaking any rules.

“It baffles me,” Howard told the Free Press. “It seems absurd that someone can come after you more than two decades after you’ve played your last down and sue you over your own likeness.”

“How about this? Someone is suing me … over a picture of me,” Howard posted on his Twitter page Monday.

The photo in question is nearly 23 years old and captured Howard striking the pose in the end zone during an Ohio State-Michigan game.

The photo has since been used on posters, in print, on memorabilia and on Howard’s website, without a penny of any profits going into Masck’s hands. According to the lawsuit, Masck did not get a copyright for the photo until 2011.

The lawsuit is candid in saying that part of the issue is money.

“The Heisman pose and Brian’s iconic photograph which captured it have both gone viral,” it says, “the name Brian Masck has not.”

Howard’s response:

“And is that Desmond Howard’s fault? … I guess I didn’t make him famous enough.”

Photo via Twitter/@DesmondHoward

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