U.S. Capitol, topped by Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom, Washington, D.C.
Digital image produced by Carol M. Highsmith to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images.
Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer.
Credit line: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Gift and purchase; Carol M. Highsmith; 2011; (DLC/PP-2011:124).
Forms part of the Selects Series in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive.
United States Capitol Free Sock Photos. Public Domain, Royalty Free Images. The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. President George Washington in 1791 selected the area that is now the District of Columbia from land ceded by Maryland. French engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant who planned the new city of Washington located the Capitol at the elevated east end of the Mall, on the brow of what was then called Jenkins' Hill. The site was, in L'Enfant's words, "a pedestal waiting for a monument." President Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol in the building's southeast corner on September 18, 1793, with Masonic ceremonies. Construction was a time-consuming process: the sandstone used for the building had to be ferried on boats from the quarries at Aquia, Virginia and workers had to be induced to leave their homes to come to the relative wilderness of Capitol Hill. Some third-floor rooms were still unfinished when the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the courts of the District of Columbia occupied the U.S. Capitol in late 1800.
In 2015, documentary photographer Carol Highsmith received a letter from Getty Images accusing her of copyright infringement for featuring one of her own photographs on her own website. It demanded payment of $120. This was how Highsmith came to learn that stock photo agencies Getty and Alamy had been sending similar threat letters and charging fees to users of her images, which she had donated to the Library of Congress for use by the general public at no charge. In 2016, Highsmith has filed a $1 billion copyright infringement suit against both Alamy and Getty stating “gross misuse” of 18,755 of her photographs. “The defendants [Getty Images] have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people,” the complaint reads. “[They] are not only unlawfully charging licensing fees … but are falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner.” According to the lawsuit, Getty and Alamy, on their websites, have been selling licenses for thousands of Highsmith’s photographs, many without her name attached to them and stamped with “false watermarks.” (more: http://hyperallergic.com/314079/photographer-files-1-billion-suit-against-getty-for-licensing-her-public-domain-images/)