BOERNE, Texas, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A photographer says he is suing Texas for using an image he created on millions of vehicle inspection stickers.
David K. Langford of Comfort, Texas, is asking a court to forbid further use or issuance of the stickers, saying their design uses a cowboy image from a photo he copyrighted in 1984, "Days End 2," the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The stickers were produced by prisoners under a Department of Criminal Justice contract with the Department of Public Safety. Both agencies are defendants but declined comment Friday.
Langford's suit says his photo was illegally appropriated by an inmate –- serving life for aggravated sexual assault -- who scanned it from a copy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine in 1998.
He is seeking award damages and legal fees for the unlawful taking of an image that has gained him income for 25 years. The stickers in use number between 4 million and 5 million.
Langford, 68, called his suit a last resort.
"We've tried everything we can to settle this in a businesslike, professional manner between photographer and client, but we can't hardly get them to return a phone call," he said.