Stranger Things: Photographer claiming Netflix is ripping him off


After viewing the latest season of Stranger Things, a photographer noticed something very familiar and is now claiming copyright infringement.

Netflix’s Stranger Things is surely stranger…but this is just bizarre.

PetaPixel is reporting something weird is happening in Hawkins. After recently sitting down to enjoy the latest season of Stranger Things, photographer Sean R. Heavey noticed something familiar. It seemed the Netflix hit was using his cloud formation image in the series. At first, he thought it odd but couldn’t be sure it was indeed his image.

That’s until his friend began watching the after show, Beyond Stranger Things, that it became apparent his image had been stolen by the streaming giant. And if you follow every line and edge in both images, it becomes clear some wrongdoing is happening here.

Check it out and see for yourself, straight from Sean R. Heavey’s


“Netflix did not get permission from me,” Heavey says bluntly to PetaPixel. “I don’t have the image with any stock agencies so unless they got it from somewhere else, which is an issue if so, then they are using it without permission.”

The Seattle photographer goes on to address his interaction with Netflix after challenging their use of his work. “They are saying the only similarity that exists is the use of a similar cloud formation, that copyright law does not protect objects as they appear in nature, and that an artist can’t claim a monopoly over real-world public domain objects such as a cloud formation,”

More from Stranger Things

But as Heavey points out, that’s not the problem. “The problem with that argument is that it’s not a similar cloud they use — it’s my cloud photo.” You can read all of Heavey’s comments, including how his case is similar to another recent situation with the streaming service at PetaPixel.

After scanning both images closely, there’s absolutly no way Netflix didn’t lift Heavey’s image. While you can’t copyright weather, taking someone’s specific picture of mother nature is their property and against the law. In fact, this instance is explicitly the point of copyright infringement. Without question, the entertainment giant should be paying the man. They have the funds, in spades, so this shouldn’t be a problem. If I were him, I’d reach out again, and if that fails, lawyer up — fair is fair.

Stranger Things stars Millie Bobby BrownFinn Wolfhard and Winona Ryder. Series creators are Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer. Netflix handles distribution while 21 Laps Entertainment and Monkey Massacre produce. The horror hit returns to Netflix in 2019.

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Fan of Stranger Things? Agree Netflix should be paying for the photo? Let the other strangers know what you think in the comments below.