Woman Claims Yahoo Owes Her $20 Million For Using Her Photo

from the say-what-now? dept

Late last year, New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady sued Yahoo after he found out that Yahoo was using his photograph in an advertisement for their fantasy sports service. Whether or not you think Yahoo can make an argument for using the photograph, you can sort of see where Brady is coming from. As a superstar sports player, he commands a ton of money for endorsing products, and people could interpret his image as endorsing Yahoo’s service. However, it’s hard to make much sense of some random woman in Ohio deciding to sue Yahoo for $20 million over a similar infraction. Apparently, the woman discovered a photo of herself being used in the sign-up confirmation email for Yahoo’s email system. She’s retained 3 separate law firms to push the case forward, claiming her right of publicity was violated. Of course, a right of publicity usually is to protect famous people who’s likeness actually has commercial value (such as, say, Tom Brady). It’s not clear what sort of commercial advantage Yahoo took from this woman. If they didn’t use her photo, they could have used one of a million other generic photos of random people.

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Comments on “Woman Claims Yahoo Owes Her $20 Million For Using Her Photo”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t buy the argument that “because she’s not famous, she cannot claim ‘right to publicity'”. It’s high time that these corporations start paying for things that they
feel they deserve to get free.

Sure, Yahoo could’ve used any of a number of other photos, but *WHY* do you believe that they can use them for free? If it’s clearly the woman’s likeness, and Yahoo is conducting buessiness by using it, then she should be compensated.

TANSTAAFL, doncha know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Excessive

OK – I can see that maybe she should get some compensation, but 20 mil seems a bit excessive to me. I mean she really hasn’t faced any hardships, like getting mobbed by over zealous Yahooligans. I don’t know, this is purely opinion and I’ll prob get flamed, but it just seems a bit over the top asking for 20 mil.

Nasty Old Geezer says:

Re: Re: Excessive

Maybe not, I can get $10 mil for spilling hot coffe on myself at a famous fast food joint.

Geez — you can sue anybody for anything and claim any amount. If it actually gets a judge, he will likely tell them to settle. If it goes to a jury — she could get anything from ten bucks to a half of Yahoo.

Likely this is just posturing to get Yahoo to settle quicker, and for a few more bucks.

Neal says:

how much

I don’t think there’s any question she should be compensated, assuming she didn’t absentmindedly or unknowingly sign a release to the original photographer somewhere along the line. This is a strictly commerical use after all.

The question is for how much and the answer is for the average compensation an unknown would recieve for such use, plus a small punative award if Yahoo had no reason to believe it owned the right to use her likeness. If Yahoo purchased the rights to the photo from a photographer then her claim is against the photographer.

TheDock22 says:

Re: how much

I agree, she is suing the wrong person. The photographer is the one who originally sold the photo and therefore should compensate the model. She has no right to go after Yahoo, since they bought the photo from the photographer who owns the rights to the image. She’s just a nobody model, and most models do not make $20 million.

I doubt Yahoo just went and searched for random photos of people to use for free in their marketing campaign. No big company is that dumb.

Steve says:

Re: how much

How anyone gets in a contract is a negotiation between the two parties involved. Yahoo, by using her picture before having an agreement kind of loses their ability to negotiate after the fact, and in effect should have to pay whatever she says.

Who is Yahoo to decide that this particular woman’s picture should have a particular value? Perhaps she’s been stalked before, and doesn’t want her image out in public? Perhaps she’s in the witness protection program? There’s all kinds of reasons that someone would put a high value on their privacy, and for Yahoo to ignore it is just stupid. There’s probabaly 1000 people on Yahoo’s payroll who would have done it for free..

Granted, I think 20m is crazy, perhaps companies will do things on the up-and-up if they know there are repercussions to this sort of crap.


Sk8r says:

Re: Re:

This is called ‘negotiation’, people. If she asked for $1000 she would probably get $1000. If she asked for $10,000 she probably would get it. The object is to aim high and see what the court is willing to award, or Yahoo is willing to offer to settle out of court, which in all likelihood is what will happen.

Casper says:

I doubt her entire life is worth 20m, but she should be compensated. I would say a more realistic figure would be in the thousands. The going rate of a generic low end model is somewhere in the thousands. The pay has nothing to do with the amount of exposure, since that’s what models are seeking anyway; it has to do with the value associated with the name.

Enrico Suarve says:

Define Famous

I think everyone has the right to privacy except maybe in the case of ‘fair use’ (i.e. to report major news events)

There’s plenty of people these days on my telly who seem to consider themselves famous celebrities (although I think once you’re past the H list you’re pushing it)

If anything people who go out of the way to shove themselves in front of cameras every 5min have less of a claim to breach of privacy than this lady rather than more

Sue for 20million, settle for 1 – seems pretty standard US court strategy to me

Post 4 may have a point though if Yahoo did not realise they were using an ‘unreleased’ photo

Go girl ;0)

mike3 says:


question what legally defines some one as “famous” if you use my pic for commercial interests I should be payed or at least be made aware of it heard of a contract? If they would of have made a contract at first they could have payed a lot less or have found out that this women was crazy and picked a person that would cost less.

You never know says:

Here is the issue, If she is clamming her rights to publicity is being violated then she is clamming to be a professional and should be licensed and subject to taxation on her earnings, or positional earning. The reason she is suing is she thinks it’s going to be free money and she is going for the deepest pockets, not some starving photographer. To make a short story long, some one has put the bug in her ear that there is some easy money to be made, and all she has to do is file a lawsuit. Hmmmm, sounds like a lawyer is behind this doesn’t it….

MPSB says:

Someone should slap this woman!!

This is just another example of how litigous the greedy people of the world have become. This woman needs to loose the lawsuit and Yahoo needs to sue her for the lawyers fees!! I am so sick and tired of people in this country suing everyone and anyone with the sole purpose of getting rich and not having to work for it. This woman suffered in absolutely no way what so ever!! The courts need to start making examples of people who bring frivolous lawsuits and they should start here. It is sad that so many of you posting agree that this woman should sue and get money, you guys are just as much of the problem as she is, you are condoning frivolous lawsuits that backlog our courts. All I hope is she looses and they make her cover the court costs!!! I mean have the people of this world gotten so lazy that they are all just looking for ways to make a quick buck instead of working hard for what they have?!?!

MyNameIsMatt (user link) says:

Re: Re: Someone should slap this woman!! - Or not

Ok, some of these comments are just absurd. If the photo is up on Yahoo, then it is probably a professionally created photo meaning that she is a professional model. Her job is getting her picture used on sites like Yahoo, so if Yahoo uses a photo of her, then she has a right to compensation, and that would be true even if she weren’t a professional model because Yahoo is using the picture primarily to promote their service and make money. If you think that’s unreasonable, then we might as well take all pictures off advertising because they make no impact on the actual advertising.

Some people say she should sue the photographer as the person who holds the right to the photo, but I didn’t see any mention that a photographer owned the right to the photo and not her. I would assume that she owns the right to her own image in this case, and any use of it by Yahoo is Yahoo’s fault.

Some people may not like the amount, but it probably is a high market to make sure she actually makes something out of this. Also, one person mentions that you can buy similar photos for a buck, but that’s actually false. Even at stock photo sites like istockphoto, if the picture is used or shown (or expected to be shown) more than 100,000 times, then you need to get an exclusion extended right to you.

I think most people’s awe at this is more a lack of ignorance in how professional photography and modeling work, and just because someone is famous or not has little impact. Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they have rights everyone else doesn’t have.

Ugh says:

Re: Someone should slap this woman!!

Someone should slap this woman!! by MPSB on Mar 2nd, 2007 @ 8:10am
This is just another example of how litigous the greedy people of the world have become. This woman needs to loose the lawsuit and Yahoo needs to sue her for the lawyers fees!! I am so sick and tired of people in this country suing everyone and anyone with the sole purpose of getting rich and not having to work for it. This woman suffered in absolutely no way what so ever!! The courts need to start making examples of people who bring frivolous lawsuits and they should start here. It is sad that so many of you posting agree that this woman should sue and get money, you guys are just as much of the problem as she is, you are condoning frivolous lawsuits that backlog our courts. All I hope is she looses and they make her cover the court costs!!! I mean have the people of this world gotten so lazy that they are all just looking for ways to make a quick buck instead of working hard for what they have?!?!

You took the words right out of my mouth. You want to sue someone? You better be able to show you suffered significantly. No blood…no broken bones…no lawsuit. Now go back to work…or get a job and quick trying to figure out how to get rich quick.

Anonymous Coward says:

AFAIK, it is illegal to use a picture of anyone for commercial purposes unless the individual has signed a consent form.

While I do not think 20 million is a reasonable amount, I do not blame the woman for the suit at all assuming she never signed a release form with the photographer allowing commercial use of the photo.

There are zillions of stock photos which can be used for a buck or so.

TheDock22 says:

Re: Re:

I do not blame the woman for the suit at all assuming she never signed a release form with the photographer allowing commercial use of the photo.

Again, then she should sue the photographer for selling her image without her consent. You can not sue a company that obtained an image in legal ways (i.e. pay the photographer for the picture) when the fault lies with the seller (i.e. the photographer).

I guess it is pretty unclear how Yahoo obtained this image. If anyone can dig up some dirt on how Yahoo got the image in the first place, post a link on the forum. I’d be interested in reading it.

How Yahoo obtained the photo is what will determine if this woman is entitled to any money at all.

TW Burger (profile) says:

Using Constructs instead of real people

There is a growing trend toward the use of “artificial” people when the generic image of a person is used in media. This has the advantage of easily picking and then fine tuning the perfect persona and removing all potential future embarrassment or litigation, as in this case.

An example is the Ivory Soap box cover in the 1970s had a picture of Marilyn Chambers before she starred in the pornographic movie “Behind the Green Door” which made her infamous.

After that Ivory used an artist’s portrait.

wolff000 says:

Should Have Asked For More

If Yahoo had simply bought a cheap stock photo or just hired her they could have paid her a few thousand and she probably would have taken the money with a smile. When they used it with out consent it showed complete dis contempt for her especially if she is a model of any type. Even crappy walmart models get paid. I would have asked for 100 mil it will probably get dropped a lot lower in court or they will settle for a lot lower. The more you ask for the more they settle for. Yahoo simply shouldn’t have been so ignorant they deserve what they get.

EdB (user link) says:

Stop thinking about $20M as a single figure. What should the cost per view be, and how many times has yahoo served that image to people?

Remember the lady who got 3rd degree burns that required skin grafts from McDonalds coffee spilling in her lap? Her initial award, while huge as a single figure, amounted to the profits MickeyDee makes from coffee in a single day. Unfortunately the corporate giant was able to have that reduced significantly on appeal.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m the poster of the first comment, and I don’t understand why everyone
things the lady doesn’t “deserve” $20 million…. it’s not a matter of what
anyone deserves, it’s what the market will bear.

Think of it this way: Do you think Bose deserves several hundred dollars for their Wave Radio? No, they don’t, but that’s what the market will bear.

In this case, look at it from another perspective: How much money
does Yahoo earn? How much did they earn from the use of her picture?
She should, at the very least be entitled to a portion of the money that
Yahoo earned by using her picture, and then she should get further damages
for unauthorized use of her image — something punitive enough to cause
corporations to pause in the future before they think they can get away
with using whatever they want for free.

AMP says:

Re: Re:

Not quite.
1. “it’s what the market will bear” – There is no “market for law suites. This is a punitive issue to be settled by the courts and there are legal precedents for amounts of money to be paid out should she win her case.

2. It doesn’t matter how much $ Yahoo earns. There are legal standards that have to be met for her to win her case. one of which is that she has to prove that her likeness has commercial value.

3. It has not yet been proven that Yahoo earned anything because of the use of her picture. If she can prove that they did, then more power to her. But, my assumption would be that this would be a tough case for her to win.

Giving someone $20 million because their picture was taken is a terrible precedent to have set.

Then again, I’m not a lawyer, so I could be wrong.

Iron Chef says:

Lucky Lotto Ticket to fame and riches

I hate it when people think they struck “The Powerball Lottery” when they find their likeness used. This is also considering, the picture was probably taken by an agency with proper lighting, and a professional photographer, for use in a royalty-free portfolio.

Logic dictates that Yahoo’s Marketing Department (internal or outsourced) was probably using a royalty-free service to procure “Product-Modeling”-photographs. Additionally, (but unlikely) there may be the possibility that Yahoo sanctioned a yahoo-specific shoot.

Either way, I’m skeptical that the talent did not know the intent of using the photography, with the talent’s intent of getting into the lucrative business of product modeling. So someone decided to use your photo. That’s great, and the talent could have used this to catapult their career.

So yes, it would need to be established how yahoo fits in the chain of custody for the photograph.

$20M for a picture, or series of pictures, regardless of procurement method, is quite outrageous… Even if the talent is a no-talent hack who could not break into the modeling industry. But the ask of $20M is very self rightous, and a mirror on the person’s character.

It’s probably this level of self-absorbtion that other companies never decided to work with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The only fault is on Yahoo’s side for trying to take advantage of this woman. They lose. She has every right to demand whatever she wants for commercial use of her face.

If a company gambles and uses someone’s image without authorization (giving them ammunition to demand an inflated price) and they get caught it’s their own damn fault.

Companies need to be sent a message that they cannot use someone’s image without authorization. If they do they should face the consequences. In this case, it’s an expensive lesson. Either way, Yahoo knows better and I have zero sympathy.

WM Henderson says:

Basically, there is fault on both sides.

I see your point, but consder that many musical, painting, and picture artists, even actors usually give up several years of no or little pay before they became famous. If it was something she seriously wanted to do, she should have known this, and approached it this way. Just a thought.

Anonymous Coward says:

Use of anyone’s image for commercial purposes without authorization is wrong and infringes on that individuals right to set commercial value of their face. I don’t see how that can seriously be disputed.

Yahoo DID NOT uses one of a million other individuals, they used HER photo and they, just like with Tom Brady, need to secure the right to do so. Period.

If companies could use anyone’s photo for commercial gain without authorization what would stop someone from using your face for a jock-itch ad. I’d be pissed if it was me. This is blatant infringement on individual rights and has NOTHING to do with how famous someone is – especially since fame is a relative thing (she might be famous for something; so because YOU haven’t heard of her means her argument is moot? That’s 100% bullshit there Mike).

Anonymous Coward says:

Yahoo Owes her compensation without a doubt and we need MORE suites like this, not fewer.
There has arisen a very bad practice with on-line advertisers and such just using random image grabs off the web for their promotional images. Yahoo shouldn’t do it in the same way AdultFriendFinder should not be able to get away with using none released images like they do.
The web is getting mature now and it’s time for some of the wild wild west stuff to go away.

The infamous Joe says:

Cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.

This is all so childish that it makes me weep for my country.

First off, these things should be on a case by case basis. It’s not jock-itch we’re talking about, it’s a simple welcome email from yahoo. Our legal system isn’t a get-rich-quick game show and it shouldn’t be used as such. She needs to show damages equalling 20 *million* dollars _plus_ part of what they made from the picture _plus_ her court costs. Also, she shares her name with an unfortunate young girl who was killed on a car crash, and that young girl has more hits on google than this litigation whore.

As far as I know, no one decided on yahoo because of a picture they wouldn’t even see until *after* they signed up, so the picture itself didn’t actually make ANY money. As for the 20 million, well, seeing as the only claim to fame this woman has is this lawsuit, using her image certainly didn’t hurt her career and the arguement could be made that it could have helped it.

I think she should get slapped down and told to get a job– and maybe call her a hippie for good measure. 🙂

An interesting side note, it seems the picture in question has another person in it, should we be expecting another childish lawsuit again soon?

Michael (user link) says:

This is not to everyone, but it seems as though a lot of people believe that this money is just what she should have been paid. There are plenty of reasons for the sum to be so inflated. First is the plain fact that they used her likeness for advertising without her permission.

In fact, her being a non celebrity should actually improve her case. It won’t improve the $ amount but for the ability to prove she should not have been thrust into the limelight without an agreement with yahoo. Not to mention that she could be suing for emotional distress for the thrust this limelight has caused. While you or I may not understand that it does not invalidate what it could have done to her.

MPSB says:

At least there is some intelligent people here...

One of the only people posting here that has any intelligence is ‘The Infamous Joe’ (I weep with you my friend). I don’t understand how any of you could agree with this lazy, gold-digging, peace of crap hippie!! Are all of you so stupid or blind that you can’t see beyond ‘getting revenge on big business’ to see how frivolous lawsuits like this hurt everyone! We are talking about a picture here people (and most of you should probably look up our privacy laws because you don’t know what your talking about). It seems most of you just hate ‘Big Business’ (you freakin hippies) and just want to see someone stick it to them. I have had my picture used in a few things before (like when I was in the hospital after a motorcycle accident and the Oncology Dept. needed someone for their pamphlets) and since I never signed a waiver should I sue the hospital now. This is simply a case of another laxy person looking to get rich with as little effort as possible. The fact that so many of you agree with her just shows how pathetic and litigous this country (and world for that matter) has become. Thank you ‘The Infamous Joe’ for showing me that there are some people out there with intelligence. For all of you who agree with this bitch all I have to say is I hope someone sues you for some frivolous reason and then maybe you will get it!!

Joe says:

legal precedent

This reminds me of a legal case from a few years ago. I forget the details but the gist of it was that a guy felt his name had value, despite not being famous In trying to determine that value, he used 1.7 cents which was the amount used to purchase his name for a bulk mailing list. So – Tom Brady’s name is worth 20 million. His name was worth 1.7 cents. But they both have value and must then be treated in the same manner. That being said – the woman’s case is still a crock. Most likely she’s looking for a cash payout to avoid the nuisance aspect.

Paul says:


After a few months in court evidence will arise which reveals the fact that the photo was taken somewhere where her right to publicity was waived.

For example, when you go to a theme park such as Six Flags there is some fine print on the back of the ticket you purchase which says something along the lines of “By entering the park you acknowledge the fact that your image or likeness may be used in advertisement”

Hooray for ignorant people trying to get their free lunch.

pog (user link) says:

double standards... alive and well!

I agree with the first poster who later said:
I don’t understand why everyone
things the lady doesn’t “deserve” $20 million…. it’s not a matter of what
anyone deserves, it’s what the market will bear.

However… when the judiciary gets involved, it’s no longer just a question of “what the market will bear”, I think. Using the courts brings “coercion” into the game.

Still, I think it’s funny that when corps use coercion to get their way, it’s called “cut-throat business”… when individuals do it, they’re called all sorts of nasty things. LOL!

Either way, I think we need a lot more details to know what to think about this particular case.

AMP says:

Re: double standards... alive and well!

Okay, on the open market, this ladies likeness is probably worth about a nickel? If she deserves $20 million, then Tom Brady should get how many billions? His image generates a hell of a lot more $$ than hers. Why does everybody on this site bitch and moan that professional athletes get paid way too much, but when it comes to some nut job lady in Ohio, it’s all about capitalism and market value?

And what the hell is this all about? “Still, I think it’s funny that when corps use coercion to get their way, it’s called “cut-throat business”… when individuals do it, they’re called all sorts of nasty things. LOL!”

Nik says:

was it really her?

Ok I can see to pay this lady money (not 20M) if it was really her. But how many people have the same hair color? eye? same build? I know people that have a twin. You have to ask Yahoo who the picture was of and if it is not of this one lady. Then why should she be saying that now they owe her 20M! I mean really! what gives her the right to say (example) that she is going to sue yahoo for claiming to be blonde blue-eyed, tanned, with a great smile? doesn’t that sound like someone you know? Just sayin’ if she didn’t take the picture then shut the heck up! But I do agree that if Yahoo is using a picture of her then YES she has EVERY right to sue them! but how about for 2m or just 1m (but them her ‘lawyers’ would get it all right?)

TheDock22 says:

RE: Who owns the photo

william, you are one hundred percent correct. The USA does NOT have laws that say you need to ask someone before taking their picture. Some states do, but Ohio is not one of them. Therefore, the picture belongs to the photographer, regardless of who is in the photo.

Since I highly doubt she and her friend photographed themselves (the don’t look smart enough to get the lighting and set the auto-timer) then a photographer was involved and the photo is their property. Then can do whatever they want with THEIR photo and the subjects can try all they want, but they do not own the property.

There is the other issue of is she robbed of $20 million since her photo was used on Yahoo? No way, IF there was no photographer involved (again, highly unlikely) then she can only sue for what the picture would be worth, regardless of who uses her photo (think, if some unknown website used her photo would she sue for $20 million?) A celebrity photo can sell for thousands of dollars, but I’ve never heard of a photo selling for $20 million dollars since that’s not its worth.

Finally, I agree she’s a gold digger. If she was a true model, she sure wouldn’t care Yahoo used her picture since its great publicity. She’s just some dumb woman who thinks she can weasel money out of Yahoo. She’s not even worth the paper it would cost to print that photo.

pog (user link) says:

Re: RE: Who owns the photo

A photographer cannot just do anything they want with a photo they’ve taken of a subject WHO HAS NOT SIGNED A RELEASE.

While the photographer owns the rights to the image, without a release, the photo is commercially useless. Yes, the subject has no copyright… but the photographer has no release. A stalemate, of sorts.

I don’t think this woman’s suit has anything to do with the photo’s copyright. It’s her own image that was improperly used.

We don’t know if the woman forgot about signing a release… I’m sure many photographer-model relationships involve blanket releases. It would be tedious to have to release every single photo one at a time.

Maybe the photographer uploaded the photo to a stock agency and mistakenly (or otherwise) checked off the box that says “release available” (etc). Maybe the release is forged.

Maybe Yahoo just grabbed the photo from some online gallery without any regard for copyright or release.

Lots of maybes. One thing for sure… an image such as this one must have a model release to be used in this kind of advertising.

Who’s liable? I think that depends on how Yahoo got the image. IANAL, though.

hbpantherfan says:

Yahoo email gal

agree or not, it stands that exploitation of the woman’s image has helped Yahoo to enlist “customers” to their free email service. As the number of customers grows, so does the commercial viability of all the little banner ads, sidebar ads, and other commercial content that is SOLD by Yahoo to their advertising clients. That’s the angle behind the 20 million, and frankly, Yahoo IS liable UNLESS they purchased the image from a photographer with a signed iron-clad release from the subject.

20mil seems excessive compared to how much advertising revenue Yahoo has generated during the time it allegedly exploited the woman’s image? I couldn’t say…

I signed up for yahoo mail and all I got was a bunch of spam.

thinkfaster says:

If you take a picture in a public space of someone, they are not guaranteed a right to privacy. However, you need permission from the subject to use that photograph in advertising. If the person in question is not truly the ‘subject’ of the photograph, this does not apply. For example, I take a picture of some fountain and you’re sitting on it, if I claim/prove the fountain is the subject of my photo, I can use it in an ad. There is a lot of caselaw in situations like this, however, like many legal issues there’s a lot up for interpretation. IANAL.

Anonymous Coward says:

MPSB and Ugh:

Yahoo! is a commercial organization, and they have NO right to use the likeness or image of someone without their permission, even if it’s your non-famous next-door neighbor.

She most certainly won’t get $20M, but considering that the photo is used on all of Yahoo’s mail logins and considering the wide popularity and the revenue Yahoo! generates from advertising on its mail service, why should Yahoo! not share at least a portion of that with her? Yahoo! isn’t a charity or a non-profit organization. They rake in billions in revenue for the sake of their shareholders and also spend billions to legally license software and other intellectual property for their commercial purposes.

Most of all, this isn’t some idiot who blames an automobile manufacturer for their injuries when they didn’t do up their own seatbelt. It’s her likeness, it has commercial value to a commercial organization because they used it, and now it’s time to pay up. Not $20M, but it will be something far less that is not immaterial and I’m sure it’ll be settled out of court long before it reaches even the discovery stage.

And one more point – it’s LOSE, not LOOSE. At least if you’re trying to make an intelligent argument, know how to spell.

Cameron says:

Question the source

As a professional photographer, I’ve read this thread and the article with great interest.

My stock agency (the really big one) requires a specific model release for every image that is clear on what rights are granted and the compensation of the “talent.”

It looks like some people have jumped to the conclusion that this photographer submitted the image to an agency without a release. If she was paid (even it was a nominal fee plus royalties from the image sales) and signed a release – a large law firm may think they can overturn the release stating – using an argument that she did not understand, etc, etc.

If she signed a release – than the photographer is in good standing. If she did not – well, then he/she is in trouble.

I would not rush to judgement on this issue. Maybe she thinks she will be awarded a decent sum of money because she never expected the image to be used this way – or that it was used in manner that she did not expect.

I’ve had an image used by Yahoo on for a story on balding. They chose the image from my collection at the agency. (which was fully released and the photograph is of my assistant – who happens to be bald.) For two days my assistant received a bunch of calls from friends who saw it on Yahoo, and he made some extra money from the image being in the collection. But we are not talking huge money by any stretch. For the photographer or talent.

Just trying to give another site to this story/issue. If a professional photographer is submitting to the big agencies and is under contract, they are required to submit a model release with the image. (The three stock agencies I am with require them – two with submission – the other – a statement that the release is available if needed.)

If this was a professional shoot – (she was/is a model) – I would say most likely, that a release was signed – either the modeling agency release or the photographers release.) If this was a “test/portfolio shoot” and a release was not signed and the image submitted to an agency like the smaller Royalty Free/Microstock agency – then their may not be a release.

The key is – people have concluded that she is in the right, the photographer should be sued, etc, etc. Without knowing the facts behind the case, these comments are pure speculation.

strangebrew says:

yahoo photo

i must admit, i think we who are commenting here need to get lives.
point: there exist here a double standard wherein it is wrong for individuals to sue corporations, but okay for corporations to sue. i know you ask what i mean, and i’m glad you asked.
what is the reason a persons image is not valued like their intellectual property? why can you use my photo, but i cannot share software/music/movies/tv reception that i legally purchase (pray hard the oil companies do not try this dance!)? is 20mil. excessive? doesn’t matter, the question is really will this case open the door of corporate exploitation wider, or will we have enough (left ambiguous intentionally)?
either way, unless we’ve actually met this woman, could we at least keep our descriptions civil? bitch and whore are probably not on her resume, nor yours nor mine.
try really hard to have a day that doesn’t suck!

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