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Veteran furious with CVS manager’s handling of military photo; manager calls police

CVS in Celina, Ohio. (Google Maps/Released)
October 17, 2019

A Marine Corps veteran said he never expected to have an issue that led to a viral Facebook post about the way a Celina pharmacy handled the reprinting of his boot camp photo.

“I just expected to pickup up my photo and leave,” Larry Regedanz told News Center 7’s Josh Jackson.

The copy of his boot camp photo was for his mom, who wanted to have it posted in downtown Celina to honor him like other veterans in the city.

“She and my wife were planning to get one of the banners to hang up on Main Street,” he said.

But when Regedanz went to the CVS Pharmacy at 1020 N. Main St., he said the manager told him she couldn’t sell him the reprint because of copyright infringement and that it had to be destroyed.

“She said, ‘here it is.’ It wasn’t destroyed. I said, ‘I thought it was destroyed.’” Regendanz said. “At that point, she ripped it up in my face. I couldn’t believe it.”

The manager then called police.

This news organization contacted the United States Marine Corps for clarity on who owns the rights to boot camp photos.

Capt. Christopher Harrison, Marine Corps spokesman, said “once an Individual receives it, they can do whatever they want with it,” referring to boot camp photos. He said he had never heard anyone claim anything like that before.

Celina police responded around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to CVS Pharmacy after the store’s manager called to report that Regendanz had threatened her.

“I had a customer come in here and threaten me,” the manager told Celina police in a phone call obtained by News Center 7. “He came back and he started screaming and yelling and threatening to call his lawyer and that he was going to come get me.”

Regedanz posted a lengthy message on Facebook two hours after the store called police on him, detailing his experience in the store.

“When my mother … tried to pick up the photo she was told that it belonged to the government and was threatened with a $10,000 fine for copyright infringement,” Regedanz’s post, which had been shared over 6,000 times Wednesday morning, read.

According to a Celina police report, the manager told police “she was unable to release the photo due to it being copyrighted.” She also told police Regedanz would have to obtain a letter of release from the U.S. government.

Regedanz went to the store later in the afternoon to try to pick up the copy of the picture himself.

“When I explained it was my military boot camp picture, the manager wasn’t so nice anymore,” Regedanz said. “I tried to explain to her that it was a picture of me that I purchased and owned the rights to, and that I have had several copies made over the years and have used it on social media, and it’s even been in the news.”

Regedanz said the manager took the photo “held it up to my face and ripped it in pieces, smiling as she did it,” the post read.

A CVS spokesperson told News Center 7 they’ve been investigating the incident.

“Our employee did not tear up Mr. Regedanz’s original photo,” said Mike DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications with CVS. “During their conversation, he told our employee to tear up a copy that was printed from his online order.”

“We are committed to ensuring that every customer receives courteous, outstanding service in our stores and we apologize to Mr. Regedanz and his mother for their recent experience,” DeAngelis added. “We are reviewing procedures, and applicable copyright laws, to ensure we’re able to meet customers’ needs while complying with the law.”

U.S. Army veteran Donald Ayars said he had his military photo copied at the same CVS store.

“His photo, my photo, if there’s a copyright infringement, we both did it. In fact, all of these banners downtown are copyright infringement,” he said.

The manager told police after Regedanz posted about his experience on Facebook the store received “over 20 phone calls” and “that all the calls were anonymous and stated anything from she is disrespectful, she should be fired to they hope she dies in a car crash,” the police report read.

Regedanz was trespassed from the store, according to the police report.

Celina Police Chief Thomas Wales said his department respects all military members, and that he does not expect any charges to be filed because no criminal activity took place.


©2019 Springfield News-Sun, Ohio

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.