The New York Times Co., Time Inc. and Newsweek Inc., among a dozen of the nation’s largest publishers, have banded together with university presses, academic journals and national library associations to oppose a Florida freelance photographer whose 10-year battle to collect royalties from National Geographic could redefine the limits of copyright protection.

The publishers — which also include Forbes, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune Co., Playboy Enterprises Inc., Hearst Corp., the Gannett Co. Inc., Duke University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press and the online legal archive JSTOR — have petitioned the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for permission to file amicus, or friend-of-the-court, briefs supporting The National Geographic Society, publisher of the 119-year-old magazine, National Geographic.