(Photo by Sven)

According to non-profit organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Walmart is 'bullying' a small Arkansas photographic studio over rights to images of the Walton family. The images were taken before the family business became the globe-spanning, multi-billion dollar business that it is today. 

According to the article, Bob’s Studio of Photography - started by photographer Robert Huff in 1946 - is in possession of images taken at the studio which feature members the Walton family, the founders of the Walmart empire. The Walton family is apparently demanding that Helen Huff, the widow of David Huff, son of the founder, turn over the boxes of prints, negatives and proofs. 

The Walton family appears to be claiming that it has intellectual property rights to the images, but the defense in the case, which has moved from state to federal court argues that Huff owns the copyright to all the works that her late husband and father-in-law created for the Walton family. Helen Huff’s lawyers have also counter-sued the Walton family and Walmart for reproducing the images without permission. 

The parties are currently awaiting Walmart’s response to the counter-suit.