Photographer Sues XFL For Using Her Photos Without Compensation

XFL logo

A photographer has filed a lawsuit against the XFL accusing the football league of using her photos without compensating her.

The XFL hired Melissa Lyttle in March 2020 agreeing to pay $850 for full licensing rights to the photos she shot, according to Law 360.

Lyttle says that the agreement was never honored by the football league and she never received payment, despite sending several invoices.

Lyttle also alleges that she never received notification that her photos were to be published and she later found that the XFL had used three of her copyrighted photos on its website.

Since she never received payment, Lyttle claims that the XFL has no right to use the photos.

The complaint alleges that the photos stayed on XFL’s website until May 2022.

Lyttle is seeking a maximum of $150,000 for each alleged infringement, plus attorney fees and an injunction preventing the XFL from using her photos again.

Lyttle is a Washington D.C.-based editorial photographer who has received grants from the Pulitzer Center.


A month after Lyttle took on the photo job, the XFL declared itself bankrupt. A group headed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his long-term business partner and ex-wife Danny Garcia purchased the struggling league for $15 million.

The eight-team football league is separate from the NFL and runs from February to May, outside of the traditional football season.

Last weekend saw the XFL championship game which was delayed when a photographer was forced to go to the hospital after being wiped out — the incident delayed the match by more than 10 minutes.