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Google sued for not removing ugly photo of Miami Heat owner

A photo showing minority owner Ranaan Katz with his tongue hanging out is now the matter of a lawsuit against Google and the blogger who originally posted it.

In this blogging, social-networking, open-information age, unflattering photos of people pop up left and right. But would you sue someone for posting such an image? Or even more, sue Google for refusing to take it down?

That's exactly what minority owner of the Miami Heat NBA Team Ranaan Katz has decided to do. According to paidContent, Katz has based his argument on copyright infringement but also wrote in the complaint that the photo is "partially distorted due to its unflattering nature."

The photo in question shows Katz standing courtside during a basketball game with his eyebrows raised, chin tucked in, and tongue hanging out to the side. Indeed, it's not very flattering.

The complaint Katz filed in Miami federal court requests damages be paid by both the blogger who posted the photo and Google for not taking it down, according to paidContent.

The blogger that posted the photo runs a blog called RK Associates, which is dedicated to exposing Katz for allegedly shady commercial real estate operations and other misbehavior. This isn't the first time their paths have crossed. Katz sued the blogger a year ago in a defamation lawsuit regarding critical blog posts, according to paidContent.

For its part, Google became involved when Katz served a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice to the search giant with a request to remove the photo. Google receives millions of such requests per month and says that it grants 97 percent of them. Apparently Katz's photo did not quite make that cut.

CNET contacted Google for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.