A legal battle over the allegedly illegal use of a photograph of a gay couple kissing by has been settled out of court two years after it began.

Back in 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Centre filed the lawsuit on behalf of Brian Edwards, 32, and Tom Privitere, 37, over a photograph taken of them holding hands and kissing, with a New York backdrop.

The copyrighted photograph was used in a campaign by Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio’s Virginia-based Public Advocate of the United States, deemed a hate group by the SPLC, which attacked State Senator Jean White, a Republican who voted for a civil marriage bill which failed at the state house.

It was also used on leaflets for a second campaign for which leaflets were sent to over 4,700 voters.

The Public Advocate group on Thursday announced that the case had settled out of court, hailing the settlement as a victory.

Both parties assumed responsibility for their legal bills, and the couple waived their right to appeal.The photographer was paid just over two and a half thousand pounds to settle the remaining copyright claim.

A judge in April issued a split decision in the case, which authorised it to go to court on the grounds that copyright may have been violated.

Brooklyn 2